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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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