Does Wal-Mart Reduce Social Capital?
Brock School of Business, Samford University
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics
Washington University in Saint Louis - Department of Economics
October 10, 2007
Social capital has attracted increasing attention in recent years. We use county-level and individual survey data to study how Wal-Mart affects social capital. Estimates using several proxies for social capital such as club membership, religious activity, time with friends, and other measures do not support the thesis that "Wal-Mart destroys communities" by reducing social capital. We measure exposure to Wal-Mart two ways: Wal-Marts per 10,000 residents and Wal-Marts per 10,000 residents aggregated over years since 1979 to capture a more cumulative "Wal-Mart Effect." We find that coefficients on Wal-Mart's presence are statistically insignificant in most specifications.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: social capital, Wal-Mart, Walmart, social
JEL Classification: A10, A13, D00, Z1
Date posted: June 22, 2007 ; Last revised: October 14, 2007