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Productivity, Multinationals and Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from the UK Retail Sector


  • Anon-Higon, Dolores
  • Vasilakos, Nicholas


This paper discusses the impact of foreign-ownership presence on the productivity performance of domestically-owned British retailers. In specific, we investigate the existence of productivity spillovers in the form of knowledge transfer. To guide our estimations, we develop a simple Hotelling model in which we show how the transfer of operational knowledge from MNE to non-MNE retailers, may result to an increase in the productivity of the latter and increased economic activity in the regions with relatively higher concentration of foreign investment. Our empirical estimations lend support to the assumptions upon which the theoretical model is built, while confirming the positive and highly significant impact of these spillovers on the productivity performance of domestic firms. More specifically, using data from the Annual Respondent Dataset (ARD), we find that positive spillovers exist but are mostly confined to the region in which foreign subsidiaries locate. Furthermore, the productivity benefit from regional FDI spillovers increases with the absorptive capacity of domestic retailers.

Suggested Citation

  • Anon-Higon, Dolores & Vasilakos, Nicholas, 2008. "Productivity, Multinationals and Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from the UK Retail Sector," MPRA Paper 7181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7181

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    Cited by:

    1. Fu, Xiaolan & Helmers, Christian & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "The two faces of foreign management capabilities: FDI and productive efficiency in the UK retail sector," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 71-88.
    2. Kaliappa Kalirajan & Kanhaiya Singh, 2013. "Corporate Retail Outlets are Blessings in Disguise for Unorganized Retail Outlets: An Empirical Analysis in the Indian Context," ASARC Working Papers 2013-04, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.

    More about this item


    FDI; Multinationals; Productivity; Retailing; Spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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