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Public Choice

, Volume 138, Issue 1–2, pp 109–136 | Cite as

Does Wal-Mart reduce social capital?

  • Art CardenEmail author
  • Charles Courtemanche
  • Jeremy Meiners
Article

Abstract

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 the years since 1979 to capture a more cumulative “Wal-Mart Effect.” We find that the coefficients on Wal-Mart’s presence are statistically insignificant in most specifications.

Keywords

Wal-Mart Social capital Community Retail 

JEL Classification

A10 A13 D00 Z1 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Art Carden
    • 1
    Email author
  • Charles Courtemanche
    • 2
  • Jeremy Meiners
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessRhodes CollegeMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Bryan School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  3. 3.AGREM LLCEast AnchorUSA

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