A growing body of research is giving us new ways to quantify the harms of bigness and the benefits of local ownership. In this post, we round-up the important studies and provide the evidence that policymakers can use to craft better laws, business owners can use to rally support, and citizens can use to organize their communities. … Read More
When Michelle Obama visited a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, a few weeks ago to praise the company’s efforts to sell healthier food, she did not say why she chose a store in Springfield of all cities. But, in ways that Obama surely did not intend, it was a fitting choice. This Midwestern city provides a chilling look at where Walmart wants to take our food system. … Read More
Raising the pay of Wal-Mart’s U.S. workers to a minimum of $12 an hour would lift many out of poverty and cost the average consumer, at most, $12.49 a year, according to a new study published by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. … 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.