That puts economists in line with the 48 percent of average Americans who picked Wal-Mart as the company that “best symbolizes America today” in a recent poll by “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine.
With Wal-Mart’s annual revenues topping $400 billion, its sales exceed the next five largest retailers combined. Such clout has made the company a target for critics who blame it for the demise of small-town America and question its labor practices and overall economic impact. Some communities have organized protests to block Wal-Mart from opening stores, but Robert Whaples, chair and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, who conducted the survey, says those views are misguided.
“Even if you don't shop at Wal-Mart, you benefit from it because the competition then has to lower their prices,” Whaples says. “They do things more efficiently than other stores, so we don’t need quite as many workers in that sector, but those workers who are going to be displaced are going to pretty soon find jobs in some other sector. When you read anything economists have written about Wal-Mart, basically that’s what they find—huge gains to consumers and some labor-market effects but very small ones, because they’re such a small part of the overall labor market.”
The survey, “The Policy Views of American Economic Association Members: The Results of a New Survey,” appears in the September issue of Econ Journal Watch, sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research.
Whaples asked AEA members about a wide range of policy issues, including eliminating trade barriers, mandating health insurance, taxing Internet sales, changing the income tax code to eliminate mortgage interest deductions, banning genetically modified crops and placing more stringent caps on medical malpractice awards.
Whaples is the former director of EH.Net, the Web site of the Economic History Service, and co-editor of the book Historical Perspectives on the American Economy and editor of The Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History. His Modern Economic Issues course, a series of 36 half-hour lectures on issues ranging from global warming and Social Security to Wal-Mart and obesity, is available on CD and DVD from The Teaching Company. His article "Do Economists Agree on Anything?" is the most frequently downloaded article published in the journal The Economists' Voice.
Eric F. Frazier | Newswise Science News
Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy