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Productivity, Ownership and National Chains: Evidence from the British Retail Sector


  • Dolores Añón Higón


This paper investigates factors explaining firms’ productivity differences in the British retail sector. In particular, using simultaneous quantile regressions, it aims to uncover performance gaps stemming from foreign ownership and multinationality, as well as national scale economies. The findings suggest that foreign ownership weakly explains differences in performance across retailers. Only when firms in the upper quantiles of the TFP distribution are compared, the role of foreign ownership gains statistical significance, although with exceptions. In addition, firms able to expand their infrastructure across Great Britain possess a productivity advantage over more local retailers. This implies that the existence of a national network of stores (national scale economies) may be more important than the origin of ownership in explaining performance gaps in retailing.

Suggested Citation

  • Dolores Añón Higón, 2009. "Productivity, Ownership and National Chains: Evidence from the British Retail Sector," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(4), pages 313-334.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqaeq:v55_y2009_i4_q4_p313-334

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Productivity; quantile regression; multinationals; retailing;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce


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