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Multinationals' Productivity Advantage: Scale or Technology

  • Girma, Sourafel
  • Görg, Holger

The first aim of this paper is to decompose the productivity advantage of foreign multinationals into two components: the technology and scale effect. The second aim is to analyse the causal relationship between foreign ownership and these two components of productivity growth. We do so by analyzing the effects of an acquisition of a domestic establishment by a foreign multinational enterprise, using a combined propensity score matching and difference-in-differences estimation. Our empirical analysis is based on plant level data for the UK. From our econometric investigation four broad patterns emerge: (i) any positive impact of ownership change is predominantly due to change in technical efficiency, not scale effects (ii) the pre-acquisition TFP level of the erstwhile domestic plants play a role - positive or negative - in mediating the rate of technology transfer from the MNE parent companies, (iii) the productivity growth effects are not confined to the year of acquisition, and tend to persist through time.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5841.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5841
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  1. Heshmati, Almas, 2000. "Productivity Growth, Efficiency and Outsourcing in Manufacturing and Service Industries," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 394, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 18 Oct 2001.
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  3. Girma, Sourafel & Gorg, Holger, 2007. "Evaluating the foreign ownership wage premium using a difference-in-differences matching approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 97-112, May.
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  8. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
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  13. James Tybout, 1999. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9906001, EconWPA, revised 10 Jun 1999.
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  16. repec:oup:restud:v:64:y:1997:i:4:p:605-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Conyon, Martin J, et al, 2002. "The Productivity and Wage Effects of Foreign Acquisition in the United Kingdom," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 85-102, March.
  18. Griffith, Rachel, 1999. "Using the ARD Establishment Level Data to Look at Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F416-42, June.
  19. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
  20. Arnold, Jens Matthias & Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska, 2005. "Gifted kids or pushy parents? Foreign acquisitions and plant performance in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3597, The World Bank.
  21. Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F J, 1999. " The Components of Output Growth: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 455-87, November.
  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  23. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Wang, Jian-Ye & Blomstrom, Magnus, 1992. "Foreign investment and technology transfer : A simple model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 137-155, January.
  25. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Bert Balk, 2001. "Scale Efficiency and Productivity Change," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 159-183, May.
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