Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies.… Read More
Most policymakers don’t imagine that their economic development decisions will affect such things as voter turnout or the prevalence of chronic disease. But a growing body of research is finding that scale and ownership of business matter in ways that extend far beyond economic outcomes.… Read More
"Our results indicate that the presence of Wal-Mart depresses social capital stocks in local communities," concluded Goetz and Rupasingha in their study, which was published by the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. The implications include both a weakened social fabric and "real costs for communities in the form of reduced economic growth."
The study examined both communities in which new Wal-Mart stores were built in the 1990s and those that already had a Wal-Mart at the beginning of the decade. The study controlled for other variables known to affect social capital stocks in a community, such as educational attainment.