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Multinationals and US productivity leadership: evidence from Great Britain

  • Chiara Criscuolo
  • Ralf Martin

We study the productivity of US owned plants in the UK. Using a new dataset that identifies foreign and domestic MNEs, we find that UK MNEs are less productive than US affiliates, but as productive as non US foreign affiliates. We investigate the source of the US and MNE advantage. We find evidence confirming that the MNE advantage is driven by sharing superior firm level assets across plants and by cherry picking the better plants in a country. The additional superiority of US firms seems entirely driven by their particular ability to takeover the best British plants. Thirdly, the study features a novel approach to TFP calculation.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19914/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19914.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19914
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2003. "Characteristics of Foreign-Owned Firms in British Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 9573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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  6. Rachel Griffith, 1999. "Using the ARD establishment level data to look at foreign ownership and productivity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  9. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  11. Ralf Martin, 2008. "Productivity dispersion, competition and productivity measurement," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19573, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Klette, Tor Jakob, 1999. "Market Power, Scale Economies and Productivity: Estimates from a Panel of Establishment Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 451-76, December.
  14. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 752-782, September.
  17. 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.
  18. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  19. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  20. Haijime Katayama & Shihua Lu & James Tybout, 2003. "Why Plant-Level Productivity Studies are Often Misleading, and an Alternative Approach to Interference," NBER Working Papers 9617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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