The productivity and wage effects of foreign acquisition in the United Kingdom



This paper provides a systematic empirical analysis of the impact of foreign ownership on productivity and wages in the United Kingdom. Using a specially constructed database for the period 1989–1994, it uses ownership change (acquisition) to control for unobserved differences between plants. It finds that foreign firms pay equivalent employees 3.4% more than domestic firms, though this is wholly attributable to their higher levels of productivity. Firms which are acquired by foreign companies exhibit an increase in labour productivity of 13%.