Does a municipality's wellness affect its business growth?

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Issue Date
2022-06
Embargo End Date
Authors
Arbogast, Gordon W.
Rich, David
Jadav, Arpita
Advisor
Citation

Arbogast, G. W., Rich, D., & Jadav, A. (2022). Does a municipality's wellness affect its business growth? Journal of Management & Engineering Integration, 15(1), 1-11.

Abstract

This study focuses on the health of a given population to determine if health indicators can be used as a predictor of business growth in a geographic region. A study that was focused on the wellness in a firm, concluded: "that firms can increase operational productivity through socially responsible health policies that improve both workers' wellness and economic value" (Gubner et.al., 2018). That study was typical of most papers on wellness. It analyzed the impact of a corporate wellness program on worker productivity. While interesting, it was severely limited in scope as it was based on only one firm. Most studies that examined the factors that contribute to growth in major areas are confined largely to cities and cite factors that do not include wellness. The factors most often mentioned are a city's: (i) natural resources surplus; (ii) industrialization and commercialization; (iii) development of transport and communication; (iv) economic pull; and (v) educational and recreational facilities. Other factors mentioned include a well-developed infrastructure, good quality, available human capital, and a decent ecosystem. Wellness is normally absent as a factor or is rarely mentioned. This study is different. It is focused on the role that wellness could play in the economic growth of a major area in the country. That major area is a Municipal Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States of America (USA). An MSA is not limited to a city, but may extend from one major city to several adjoining industrial areas in close proximity. Thus, this study takes a much more robust, macro-oriented approach. The research used multiple-regression modeling. It determined that there may well exist a positive relationship between the wellness of an MSA and the percent increase in business establishments in that MSA. The yearly percent increase in business establishments in an MSA was used as the response variable i.e., the business growth in an MSA. Two control variables were necessarily employed in the study to improve accuracy. The first was whether the MSA was in a Right-to-Work (RTW) state. The second was if the MSA existed in the Rust Belt (RB) area of the USA. A second research portion of this study used different statistical methods (ANOVA and MANOVA) to examine the impact of wellness on business growth and two additional explanatory variables (i.e., unemployment and annual salaries in an MSA). This analysis validated that increased MSA wellness is a driver variable that increases business growth and leads to lower unemployment and higher annual salaries in an MSA.

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Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, December 2022.
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