Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1263316
 
 

References (63)



 
 

Citations (4)



 


 



Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity


Charles Courtemanche


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics

Art Carden


Brock School of Business, Samford University

September 10, 2010


Abstract:     
Researchers have linked the rise in obesity to technological progress reducing the opportunity cost of food consumption and increasing the opportunity cost of physical activity. We examine this hypothesis in the context of Walmart Supercenters, whose advancements in retail logistics have translated to substantial reductions in the prices of food and other consumer goods. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System matched with Walmart Supercenter entry dates and locations, we examine the effects of Supercenters on body mass index (BMI) and obesity. We account for the endogeneity of Walmart Supercenter locations with an instrumental variables approach that exploits the unique geographical pattern of Supercenter expansion around Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. An additional Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3 percentage points. These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s, but the resulting increase in medical expenditures offsets only a small portion of consumers’ savings from shopping at Supercenters.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

Keywords: Walmart, Wal-Mart, warehouse clubs, obesity, body weight, body mass index

JEL Classification: I10, D0, L81, R10

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: September 5, 2008 ; Last revised: November 4, 2010

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles and Carden, Art, Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity (September 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1263316 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1263316

Contact Information

Charles Courtemanche (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics ( email )
Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
United States
Art Carden
Brock School of Business, Samford University ( email )
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.artcarden.com
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 20,748
Downloads: 1,880
Download Rank: 3,924
References:  63
Citations:  4

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.313 seconds