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Global Links: Multinationals, Foreign Ownership and Productivity Growth in Canadian Manufacturing

  • Gu, Wulong
  • Baldwin, John R.

This paper examines two potential benefits of foreign-controlled plants in the Canadian manufacturing sector: the superior performance of foreign-controlled plants and their productivity spillovers to domestic plants. The paper finds that foreign-controlled plants are more productive, more innovative, more technology intensive, pay higher wages and use more skilled workers. This foreign-ownership advantage is found to be a multinational advantage. What matters for economic performance is whether plants belong to multinational enterprises (MNEs) rather than ownership per se. Canadian multinationals are as productive as foreign multinationals. We also find that MNEs have accounted for a disproportionately large share of productivity growth in the last two decades. Finally, we find robust evidence for productivity spillovers from foreign-controlled plants to domestic-controlled plants arising from increased competition and greater use of new technologies among domestic plants.

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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis in its series The Canadian Economy in Transition with number 2005009e.

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Date of creation: 05 Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp1e:2005009e
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  1. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Haskel, Jonathan & Pereira, Sonia & Slaughter, Matthew, 2002. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3384, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2004. "Industrial Competition, Shifts in Market Share and Productivity Growth," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004021e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Griffith, Rachel & Redding, Stephen J. & Simpson, Helen, 2004. "Foreign Ownership and Productivity: New Evidence from the Service Sector and the R&D Lab," CEPR Discussion Papers 4691, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson & Stephen Redding, 2002. "Productivity convergence and foreign ownership at the establishment level," IFS Working Papers W02/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Baldwin,John R. & Hanel,Petr, 2003. "Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521810869.
  7. Chiara Criscuolo & Ralf Martin, 2009. "Multinationals and U.S. Productivity Leadership: Evidence from Great Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 263-281, May.
  8. Steven Globerman & John C. Ries & Ilan Vertinsky, 1994. "The Economic Performance of Foreign Affiliates in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 143-56, February.
  9. Sylos Labini,Paolo, 2001. "Underdevelopment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521588690.
  10. Alla Lileeva, 2010. "The benefits to domestically owned plants from inward direct investment: the role of vertical linkages," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 574-603, May.
  11. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2006. "Plant turnover and productivity growth in Canadian manufacturing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 417-465, June.
  12. Gu, Wulong & Baldwin, John R., 2004. "Innovation, Survival and Performance of Canadian Manufacturing Plants," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004022e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  13. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & Richard G. Harris & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "The Widening Canada-US Productivity Gap in Manufaturing," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 5, pages 3-22, Fall.
  14. Sabourin, David & Baldwin, John R., 2001. "Impact of the Adoption of Advanced Information and Communication Technologies on Firm Performance in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001174e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  15. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & DEC, 1994. "Do domestic firms benefit from foreign direct investment? Evidence from panel data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1248, The World Bank.
  16. Steven Globerman, 1979. "Foreign Direct Investment and `Spillover' Efficiency Benefits in Canadian Manufacturing Industries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(1), pages 42-56, February.
  17. Baldwin, John R. & Gellatly, Guy, 2005. "Global Links: Long-term Trends in Foreign Investment and Foreign Control in Canada, 1960 to 2000," The Canadian Economy in Transition 2005008e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis.
  18. Caves, Richard E, 1974. "Multinational Firms, Competition, and Productivity in Host-Country Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(162), pages 176-93, May.
  19. Salvador Barrios & Eric Strobl, 2002. "Foreign direct investment and productivity spillovers: Evidence from the Spanish experience," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 459-481, September.
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