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.