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Wal-Mart and Rural Poverty

Stephan J. Goetz and Hema Swaminathan ()

No 20149, 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO from American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association)

Abstract: Wal-Mart® has created tremendous economic benefits for consumers by providing more choices at lower prices. The benefits are felt especially in communities that had only local retail monopolies prior to the arrival of the store. Yet no mretailer evokes stronger negative emotions than this chain. Recent media attention has focused on questionable labor practices and low wages combined with lack of benefits paid by the corporation, while academic studies have examined effects of the stores on retail wages, employment levels and numbers of establishments. Missing from the literature is an analysis of whether the "Wal-Mart effect" is large enough to measurably influence community-wide family poverty rates over time. This is the first study to carefully and comprehensively examine whether a relationship exists between existing and new locations of Wal-Mart stores and county-wide faily poverty rates.

Keywords: Marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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