Does Wal-Mart reduce social capital?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles J. Courtmanche, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

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.

Additional Information

Publication
Public Choice, 2009, 138(1): 109-136.
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Wal-Mart, Social capital, Community, Retail