This lecture was delivered by Stacy Mitchell at the 26th Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.… 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.