Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Economic History | Economics | Economic Theory | Finance | Growth and Development
As the largest private sector employer in the United States, corporate retail giant Walmart continues to make waves in United States culture and the economy since launching its first store in 1962. As Walmart seeks to expand, the validity of its consumer guarantee to “save money, live better” has been increasingly scrutinized, given Walmart’s use of controversial business practices, most notably its employee benefit policies and anti-unionization efforts. With over 1.4 million employees in the United States, there is much talk surrounding the potential costs of Walmart’s low prices. This study analyzes selected healthcare and unionization impacts of Walmart in various Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the United States during the years 1996 - 2004. Using cross-sectional data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, I perform an econometric analysis to evaluate the effect of the introduction of a Walmart store on Medicaid, Medicare, and private health insurance coverage as well as union membership and coverage. To address the endogeneity of Walmart’s decision to enter a particular area, I estimate a fixed effects model, controlling for year and Metropolitan Statistical Area effects. My results indicate that the introduction of a Walmart may initially appear beneficial through its creation of additional jobs and offering of low-priced goods. In addition, findings show that Walmart increases the probability of Medicaid and private health insurance coverage and has a negative effect on the probability of being a member of a union.
Ziad, Leyla, "The Effects of Walmart on Healthcare and Unionization: Is America Really Saving Money and Living Better?" (2011). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 289.
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