IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Frank Lichtenberg, 2001. "Does foreign direct investment transfer technology across borders?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6221, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1998. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 6507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  9. Stephen Redding & James Proudman, 1998. "Productivity convergence and international openness," Bank of England working papers 77, Bank of England.
  10. Baumol, William J. & Wolff, Edward N., 1984. "On Interindustry Differences in Absolute Productvity," Working Papers 84-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Smarzynska, Beata K., 2002. "Does foreign direct investment increase the productivity of domestic firms : in search of spillovers through backward linkages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2923, The World Bank.
  12. 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.
  13. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & Helen Simpson, 2003. "Productivity Convergence and Foreign Ownership at the Establishment Level," CEP Discussion Papers dp0573, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  14. Gavin Cameron, 1998. "Catch-Up and Leapfrog between the USA and Japan," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. 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.
  19. Nickell, S.J., 1993. "Competition and Crporate Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 99155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  20. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1990. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," NBER Working Papers 3223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Volker Nocke & Stephen Yeaple, 2004. "Mergers and the Composition of International Commerce," NBER Working Papers 10405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, 07.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Sourafel Girma, 2003. "Absorptive capacity and productivity spillovers From FDI: a threshold regression analysis," European Economy Group Working Papers 25, European Economy Group.
  26. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry, and Multinational Trade," NBER Working Papers 5529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. 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;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 22(3), pages 207-223, May.
  28. Elhanan Helpman, 1985. "Multinational Corporations and Trade Structure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 443-457.
  29. 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.
  30. Görg, Holger & Greenaway, David, 2003. "Much Ado About Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2003. "ICT and Productivity in Europe and the United States: Where Do the Differences Come From?," Economics Program Working Papers 03-05, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  32. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt, 1997. "Endogenous Growth Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011662, March.
  33. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & John van Reenen, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 529-554.
  35. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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.