IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Impact of Wal-Mart on Local Fiscal Health: Evidence from a Panel of Ohio Counties


  • Michael J. Hicks

    (Air Force Institute of Technology)


This research analyzes selected fiscal impacts of Wal-Mart in Ohio from 1985 through 2003. Using a panel of counties, and accounting for spatial autocorrelation in an instrumental variable model I estimate impact of Wal-Mart and Super-Centers on selected revenues and transfer payments. On revenues I find that the presence of a Wal-Mart increases local commercial property tax assessments, resulting in collection increases of between $350,000 to roughly $1.3 million. Wal-Mart also is associated with higher levels of local labor force participation. On expenditures I also find that the presence of a Wal-Mart dramatically increases the per capita EITC claims in a county (between 18 and 43 percent), while the dollar value of these claims experiences mixed impacts between Wal-Mart and a Supercenter. Similarly, the impact of Wal-Mart on Foodstamps expenditures is mixed, but small in any case. There are no in-county impacts of Wal-Mart on expenditures on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and its predecessor Aid to Families with Dependent Children. However, Medicaid expenditures experience growth which may amount to roughly 16 additional cases per county attributable to a single Wal- Mart. The per worker costs of Medicaid estimated in this study is consistent with reported levels in a number of states, and study estimates by Dube and Jacobs [2004], Carlson [2005] and Hicks [2005a]. The magnitude and statistical certainty of these findings, accompanied by a review of previous research suggests that local fiscal intervention, either through incentives or the much touted “Wal-Mart Tax” is unwarranted.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Hicks, 2005. "The Impact of Wal-Mart on Local Fiscal Health: Evidence from a Panel of Ohio Counties," Public Economics 0511016, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0511016
    Note: Type of Document - pdf

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Stone, Kenneth E., 1995. "Competing With the Retail Giants," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5307, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Barnes, Nora Ganim & Connell, Allison & Hermenegildo, Lisa & Mattson, Lucinda, 1996. "Regional differences in the economic impact of Wal-Mart," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 21-25.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert I. Lerman & Kelly S. Mikelson, 2004. "Examining the Relationship between the EITC and Food Stamp Program Participation Among Households with Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 190, Econometric Society.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Basker, Emek, 2011. "The Causes and Consequences of Wal-Mart’s Growth," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 5, pages 110-134.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0511016. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.