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Wal-Mart’s Monopsony Power in Local Labor Markets

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  • Alessandro Bonanno

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Rigoberto A. Lopez

    ()

Abstract

Despite considerable debate as to Wal-Mart’s impact on retail workers, to date there has been little structural analysis on the topic. This paper measures and tests for Wal-Mart’s monopsony power in local labor markets using a dominant-firm model and data on contiguous U.S. counties where the company operates. Empirical results show that Wal-Mart’s monopsony power over workers varies significantly across the country, being higher in rural counties, particularly in the south. For instance, Wal-Mart’s buying power index in labor markets in rural southern central states is estimated to be 6% or higher while the impact on northeastern states’ wages is negligible. The results suggest that this is not a nationwide problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bonanno & Rigoberto A. Lopez, 2008. "Wal-Mart’s Monopsony Power in Local Labor Markets," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 103, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:zwi:fpcrep:103
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    File URL: http://fmpc.uconn.edu/publications/rr/rr103.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neumark, David & Zhang, Junfu & Ciccarella, Stephen, 2008. "The effects of Wal-Mart on local labor markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 405-430, March.
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    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.
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    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. Dube, Arindrajit & Lester, T. William & Eidlin, Barry, 2007. "Firm Entry and Wages: Impact of Wal-Mart Growth on Earnings Throughout the Retail Sector," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt22s5k4pv, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    7. Khanna, Naveen & Tice, Sheri, 2000. "Strategic Responses of Incumbents to New Entry: The Effect of Ownership Structure, Capital Structure, and Focus," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 749-779.
    8. Emek Basker & Michael Noel, 2009. "The Evolving Food Chain: Competitive Effects of Wal-Mart's Entry into the Supermarket Industry," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 977-1009, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Bonanno, 2010. "An empirical investigation of Wal-Mart's expansion into food retailing," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 220-242.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wal-Mart; monopsony power; wages; labor; retailing;

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