IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Foreign Ownership and Productivity: New Evidence from the Service Sector and the R&D Lab

  • Rachel Griffith
  • Stephen Redding
  • Helen Simpson

This paper examines the relationship between foreign ownership and productivity, paying particular attention to two issues neglected in the existing literature--the role of multinationals in service sectors and the importance of R&D activity conducted by foreign multinationals. We review existing theoretical and empirical work, which largely focuses on manufacturing, before presenting new evidence using establishment-level data on production, service, and R&D activity for Great Britain. We find that multinationals play an important role in service sectors and that entry of foreign multinationals by takeover is more prevalent than greenfield investment. We find that British multinationals have lower levels of labour productivity than foreign multinationals, but the difference is less stark in the service sector than in the production sector, and that British multinationals have lower levels of investment and intermediate use per employee. We also find that foreign-owned multinationals conduct a substantial amount of British R&D. We discuss the implications of these and other findings for the policy debate on incentives to influence multinational firms' location choices. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 20 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
Pages: 440-456

in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:20:y:2004:i:3:p:440-456
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2000. "The theory of endowment, intra-industry and multi-national trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-234, December.
  2. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson & Stephen Redding, 2002. "Productivity convergence and foreign ownership at the establishment level," IFS Working Papers W02/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence From Patent Citations," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 105-136.
  4. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1997. "Foreign Direct Investment as a Catalyst for Industrial Development," NBER Working Papers 6241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2004. "Mergers and the Composition of International Commerce," NBER Working Papers 10405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Baumol, William J & Wolff, Edward N, 1984. "On Interindustry Differences in Absolute Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1017-34, December.
  8. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
  9. Serapio Jr., Manuel G. & Dalton, Donald H., 1999. "Globalization of industrial R&D: an examination of foreign direct investments in R&D in the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 303-316, March.
  10. repec:oup:restud:v:52:y:1985:i:3:p:443-57 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  12. Gorg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2001. "Multinational Companies and Productivity Spillovers: A Meta-analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F723-39, November.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  14. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  15. Nigel Driffield & Max Munday & Annette Roberts, 2002. "Foreign Direct Investment, Transactions Linkages, and the Performance of the Domestic Sector," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 335-351.
  16. Davies, Stephen W & Lyons, Bruce R, 1991. "Characterising Relative Performance: The Productivity Advantage of Foreign Owned Firms in the UK," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 584-95, October.
  17. repec:oup:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:3:p:529-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Transfer Technology Across Borders?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 490-497, August.
  19. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Sourafel Girma, 2003. "Absorptive capacity and productivity spillovers From FDI: a threshold regression analysis," European Economy Group Working Papers 25, European Economy Group.
  21. Beata K. Smarzynska, 2003. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers through Backward Linkages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 548, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  22. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  23. Gavin Cameron, 1998. "Catch-Up and Leapfrog between the USA and Japan," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  24. Disney, Richard F & Haskel, Jonathan & Heden, Ylva, 2000. "Restructuring And Productivity Growth In UK Manufacturing," CEPR Discussion Papers 2463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1998. "Multinational firms and the new trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 183-203, December.
  26. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1997. "Endogenous Growth Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011662, June.
  27. Eduardo Borensztein & Jose De Gregorio & Jong-Wha Lee, 1995. "How Does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Economic Growth?," NBER Working Papers 5057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Markusen, James R., 1984. "Multinationals, multi-plant economies, and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  29. Stephen Redding & James Proudman, 1998. "Productivity convergence and international openness," Bank of England working papers 77, Bank of England.
  30. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  31. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2003. "R&D and absorptive capacity : theory and empirical evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 209, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  32. Stephen Nickell & Stephen Redding & Joanna Swaffield, 2008. "The Uneven Pace of Deindustrialisation in the OECD," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(9), pages 1154-1184, 09.
  33. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  34. Richard Harris & Catherine Robinson, 2003. "Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom Estimates for U.K. Manufacturing Using the ARD," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-223, May.
  35. Caves, Richard E, 1974. "Multinational Firms, Competition, and Productivity in Host-Country Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(162), pages 176-93, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:20:y:2004:i:3:p:440-456. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.