Friday, June 8, 2012
It's no secret that Walmart often faces fierce opposition when it announces plans to enter into a new community. Well, two young economists have added another data point in the fight over the effects of the big blue stores. Devin Pope, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago's business school, and his brother, Jaren, an assistant professor at BYU, tested how the presence of a Walmart store influences property values.
According to their research, the value of homes within half-a-mile of a Walmart increase an average 2 to 3 percent more than homes that aren't close to the giant retailer. Homeowners with property a half-mile to a mile from a Walmart see a 1 to 2 percent bump.
The study concludes, "On average, the benefits to quick and easy access to the lower retail prices offered by Wal-Mart and shopping at these other stores appear to matter more to households than any increase in crime, traffic and congestion, noise and light pollution or other negative externalities that would be capitalized into housing prices."