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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 totwo issues neglected in the existing literature - the role of multinationals in service sectors and the importanceof R&D activity conducted by foreign multinationals. We review existing theoretical and empirical work, whichlargely focuses on manufacturing, before presenting new evidence using establishment-level data on production,service and R&D activity for the United Kingdom. We find that multinationals play an important role in servicesectors and that entry of foreign multinationals by takeover is more prevalent than greenfield investment. Wefind that British multinationals have lower levels of labour productivity than foreign multinationals, but thedifference is less stark in the service sector than in the production sector, and that British multinationals havelower levels of investment and intermediate use per employee. We also find that foreign-owned multinationalsconduct a substantial amount of UK R&D. We discuss the implications of these and other findings for the policydebate on incentives to influence multinational firms' location choices.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0649.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0649
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2000. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0458, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. 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.
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  10. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
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  12. 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.
  13. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  14. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & Helen Simpson, 2003. "Productivity convergence and foreign ownership at the establishment level," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. 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.
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  17. 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.
  18. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "The Theory of Endowment, Intra-Industry and Multinational Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Gavin Cameron, 1998. "Catch-Up and Leapfrog between the USA and Japan," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W16, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  26. Stephen Redding & James Proudman, 1998. "Productivity convergence and international openness," Bank of England working papers 77, Bank of England.
  27. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2003. "R&D and Absorptive Capacity: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 99-118, 03.
  28. Sourafel Girma, 2003. "Absorptive capacity and productivity spillovers From FDI: a threshold regression analysis," European Economy Group Working Papers 25, European Economy Group.
  29. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  34. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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