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The effect of Walmart on the tax base: evidence from New Jersey

  • Vandegrift, Donald
  • Loyer, John
  • Kababik, David

This paper measures the impact of 30 Walmart openings on the municipal tax base using panel data for New Jersey municipalities from 1998-2007. We consider the impact of the new Walmart on the home municipality as well as the nearest adjacent municipality in the year the outlet opens as well as the two subsequent years. Because Walmart may exert differing effects on residential and non-residential values, we undertake separate analyses of the impact of Walmart on the residential and non-residential tax bases. We find that a new Walmart has a significant positive impact on the growth in the tax base in host municipalities the second year that it is open, but not in years one and three. In addition, the impact of the Walmart on the growth in the tax base depends on the size of the municipality. In the average-sized municipality, the real equalized tax base growth rate rises only about 0.35 percentage points in the second year. This effect is primarily the result of Walmart’s impact on residential values in the host municipality. By contrast, a new Walmart causes a modest but consistently negative effect on growth of the tax base in the adjacent municipality across all three years that we are able to measure. In the average sized municipality for our sample, the real equalized tax base growth rate falls rate falls 0.065, 0.081, and 0.096 percentage points, respectively. This effect occurs primarily through the Walmart’s impact on growth of non-residential values. The cumulative effect of this reduction in growth in the adjacent municipality is roughly two thirds of the increase in growth experienced by the home municipality.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30937.

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Date of creation: 16 May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30937
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  1. David Neumark & Junfu Zhang & Stephen Ciccarella, 2006. "The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets," Working Papers 060711, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael J. Hicks & Kristy Wilburn, 2005. "The Locational Impact of Wal-Mart Entrance: A Panel Study of the Retail Trade Sector in West Virginia," Urban/Regional 0511011, EconWPA.
  3. Emek Basker, 2005. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 174-183, February.
  4. Donald Vandegrift & Michael Lahr, 2011. "Open space, house prices, and the tax base," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 83-100, February.
  5. Jerry Hausman & Ephraim Leibtag, 2007. "Consumer benefits from increased competition in shopping outlets: Measuring the effect of Wal-Mart," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1157-1177.
  6. Michael J Hicks, 2008. "Estimating Wal-Mart's Impacts in Maryland: A Test of Identification Strategies and Endogeneity Tests," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(1), pages 56-73, Winter.
  7. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  8. Hicks, Michael J. & Wilburn, Kristy L., 2001. "The Regional Impact of Wal-Mart Entrance: A Panel Study of the Retail Trade Sector in West Virginia," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 31(3), pages 305-313, Winter.
  9. Srikanth Paruchuri & Joel A. C. Baum & David Potere, 2009. "The Wal-Mart Effect: Wave of Destruction or Creative Destruction?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(2), pages 209-236, 04.
  10. Stephan J. Goetz & Hema Swaminathan, 2006. "Wal-Mart and County-Wide Poverty," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(2), pages 211-226.
  11. Michael J. Hicks, 2005. "Does Wal-Mart Cause an Increase in Anti-Poverty Program Expenditures?," Public Economics 0511015, EconWPA.
  12. Georgeanne M. Artz & Kenneth E. Stone, 2006. "Analyzing the Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Local Food Store Sales," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1296-1303.
  13. Hicks, Michael J., 2009. "Wal-Mart and Small Business: Boon or Bane?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 39(1), pages 73-83.
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