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Does Wal-Mart Sell Inferior Goods?


Emek Basker


University of Missouri - Department of Economics; U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies


Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
I estimate the aggregate income elasticity of Wal-Mart's and Target's revenues using quarterly data for 1997-2006. I find that Wal-Mart's revenues increase during bad times, whereas Target's revenues decrease, consistent with Wal-Mart selling "inferior goods" in the technical sense of the term. An upper bound on the aggregate income elasticity of demand for Wal-Mart's wares is -0.5.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: Retail, Wal-Mart, Target, Inferior Goods

JEL Classification: L81, D12

working papers series


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Date posted: April 28, 2008 ; Last revised: August 25, 2008

Suggested Citation

Basker, Emek, Does Wal-Mart Sell Inferior Goods?. Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1125704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1125704

Contact Information

Emek Basker (Contact Author)
University of Missouri - Department of Economics ( email )
118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-6023 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://web.missouri.edu/~baskere/
U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233-9100
United States
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