The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Wal-Mart, Economics Of

  • Emek Basker
Reference work entry


Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, with stores in 16 countries (including the United States) and annual revenues exceeding $400 billion. Wal-Mart owes its success primarily to its early and persistent investments in technology. Technology has allowed Wal-Mart not only to grow – adding stores in new markets and adding a broad range of products over the past half century – but also to cut its costs, making it a formidable competitor in almost every retail sector. Wal-Mart’s competitive effect lowers prices in local markets, in the process driving some of its competitors to contract or shut down.


Big box Chain store General merchandise One-stop shopping Price competition Retail Wal-Mart 

JEL Classifications

J21 J63 033 L11 L25 L81 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emek Basker
    • 1
  1. 1.