Openness and its association with productivity growth in UK manufacturing industry

Working papers set out research in progress by our staff, with the aim of encouraging comments and debate.
Published on 15 December 1999

Working paper No. 104
By Gavin Cameron, James Proudman and Stephen Redding

A large theoretical literature exists that suggests that differences in growth performance may be related to variations in the extent of international openness. This paper is concerned with quantifying measures of openness and examining their association with productivity growth across 19 sectors in UK manufacturing between 1970 and 1992. Using the statistical technique of discriminant analysis, sectors were sorted into groups on the basis of their measured values of openness in 1970. Sectors classified as relatively open enjoyed significantly higher rates of total factor productivity (TFP) growth between 1970 and 1992 than those classified as closed. There was a positive correlation between the growth in labour productivity and lagged values of each of the observed measures of openness. This relationship was explained by a strong relationship between lagged values of openness and TFP growth. But, there was no evidence of a positive relationship between openness and that part of labour productivity growth explained by capital accumulation.

PDFOpenness and its association with productivity growth in UK manufacturing industry

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