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Multinationals and U.S. Productivity Leadership: Evidence from Great Britain

  • Chiara Criscuolo
  • Ralf Martin

US plant level studies show US multinational enterprises (MNE) are more productive than other MNEs. This could reflect US productivity leadership or could be due to the ease in which US firms operate in their home surroundings. The evidence would therefore be more compelling if US firms were leaders outside the US. We study the productivity of plants owned by US firms located in the UK. Our study differs from many studies of foreign owned plants in three ways. Firstly, using a newly available dataset we can identify not only foreign but also domestic MNEs. We find that UK MNEs are less productive than US owned plants, but as productive as non US foreign owned plants. Secondly, having a panel dataset we distinguish between different hypotheses regarding the nature of the US and MNE advantage. We find strong evidence that the US advantage lies in the ability to takeover already productive plants. Whereas we find some evidence for a shared asset effect for MNEs in general we do not find any evidence that the US advantage is driven by superior shares assets. Thirdly, this paper features a novel approach to TFP calculation.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/125181786028
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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers with number 2004/5.

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Date of creation: 21 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2004/5-en
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  1. 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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  13. 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.
  14. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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