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Has Wal-Mart Buried Mom and Pop?: The Impact of Wal-Mart on Self Employment and Small Establishments in the United States

  • Russell S. Sobel

    (Department of Economics & Entrepreneurship Center, West Virginia University)

  • Andrea M. Dean

    (Department of Economics & Entrepreneurship Center, West Virginia University)

Saving traditional small ‘mom and pop’ businesses has been a justification for political and court decisions preventing Wal-Mart from opening new stores virtually everywhere across the United States. We present the first rigorous econometric investigation of how Wal-Mart actually impacts the small business sector. We examine the rate of self-employment and the number of smallemployer establishments using both time-series and cross-sectional data. Contrary to popular belief, our results suggest that the process of creative destruction unleashed by Wal-Mart has had no statistically significant long-run impact on the overall size and profitability of the small business sector in the United States.

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File URL: http://www.be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/06-05.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, West Virginia University in its series Working Papers with number 06-05 Classification- JEL: L81, D59, C21.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:06-05
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 6025, Morgantown, WV 26506-6025
Phone: (304) 293-7859
Fax: (304) 293-2233
Web page: http://www.be.wvu.edu/phd_economics/
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  1. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  2. Emek Basker, 2003. "Job Creation or Destruction? Labor-Market Effects of Wal-Mart Expansion," Labor and Demography 0303002, EconWPA, revised 11 Mar 2005.
  3. Schiller, Bradley R & Crewson, Philip E, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Origins: A Longitudinal Inquiry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 523-31, July.
  4. Dubin, Robin A, 1988. "Estimation of Regression Coefficients in the Presence of Spatially Autocorrelated Error Terms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 466-74, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Steven F. Kreft & Russell S. Sobel, 2005. "Public Policy, Entrepreneurship, And Economic Freedom," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 25(3), pages 595-616, Fall.
  7. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-65, July.
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