Walmart, finance, insurance, banking, social capital



This paper investigates the effect of Walmart presence on professional service firms within the finance and insurance sector. This paper also discusses the finance and insurance industry’s place within the Walmart ripple effect—changed retail sector leads to changed professional support services resulting in altered levels of social capital within the community.


The study uses county-level data from the state of Nebraska to examine the relationship between cumulative Walmart exposure and the number of firms, number of employees, and payroll levels within the finance and insurance (F&I) sector. These same variables are also investigated within two specific F&I industries—insurance and banking.


The study documents a negative association between cumulative Walmart presence and the number of employees in the finance and insurance industry and a positive relationship between Walmart exposure and F&I payroll levels. The insurance industry results are consistent with the F&I sector result relating to payroll, but show a significant positive relationship between cumulative Walmart exposure and number of insurance agencies. Empirical results from the commercial banking industry are consistent with both the F&I sector and insurance industries with a positive relationship between Walmart presence over time and payroll levels.


This study contributes to the Walmart effect literature by considering the impact of Walmart presence beyond the retail sector. The paper investigates the effect of Walmart on the finance and insurance profession, a sector that 1) competes directly with Walmart Supercenters for money services, 2) provides support services for retail businesses impacted by Walmart services, and 3) potentially suffers from centralized benefits provided to employees by Walmart headquarters rather than local insurers. The paper concludes that the mixed impact on professional firms results in social capital that could be both strengthened and challenged by Walmart presence.

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