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Regional policy and spillovers from FDI in the UK


  • Nigel Driffield



This paper tests one of the fundamental assumptions of regional policy makers over the last 20 years. Western governments, in seeking to attract internationally mobile capital have spent significant sums of public money on subsidies and grants. This is justified on the basis that the social returns to FDI are significantly greater than the private returns, due to productivity or technology spillovers from inward investors to domestic industry. However, this paper generates some estimates of these spillovers for both assisted areas and non-assisted areas in the UK, and questions the size of these social returns, arguing that productivity spillovers do not occur in regions where significant inward investment incentives are available. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Nigel Driffield, 2004. "Regional policy and spillovers from FDI in the UK," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(4), pages 579-594, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:38:y:2004:i:4:p:579-594 DOI: 10.1007/s00168-003-0174-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nuno Crespo & Maria Paula Fontoura & Isabel Proença, 2009. "FDI spillovers at regional level: Evidence from Portugal," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(3), pages 591-607, August.
    2. Roberto Antonietti & Raffaello Bronzini & Giulio Cainelli, 2015. "Inward greenfield FDI and innovation," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 42(1), pages 93-116, March.
    3. Yuandi Wang & Lutao Ning & Jian Li & Martha Prevezer, 2016. "Foreign Direct Investment Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation in Chinese Regions: The Role of Regional Industrial Specialization and Diversity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(5), pages 805-822, May.
    4. Khalid Al Khathlan, 2014. "Foreign Direct Investment Inflows and Economic Growth in Saudi Arabia: A Co-integration Analysis," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 4, pages 70-80, Feburary.
    5. Jacob Jordaan & Eduardo Rodriguez-Oreggia, 2012. "Regional growth in Mexico under trade liberalisation: how important are agglomeration and FDI?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(1), pages 179-202, February.
    6. Harris, Richard, 2009. "Spillover and backward linkage effects of FDI: empirical evidence for the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Miao Wang & M. C. Sunny Wong, 2016. "Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Firm-level Technical Efficiency: Stochastic Frontier Model Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(3), pages 335-361, September.
    8. Hamida, Lamia Ben, 2013. "Are there regional spillovers from FDI in the Swiss manufacturing industry?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 754-769.

    More about this item


    O33; R58;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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