For some years there has been strong evidence that inflows of foreign investment into our manufacturing sector have served to drive higher output worker. But perhaps the same is happening on the high street and in the shopping malls? A new paper by Dr Dolores Anon Higon and Dr Nicholas Vasilakos presented at the Royal Economic Society’s March 2008 annual conference finds that foreign-owned retailers may improve the productivity of the retail sector as a whole if they are more productive than British retailers and they have the effect of forcing UK retailers to raise their own game with benefits for consumers in the longer term. A summary of their findings is available here from the RES web site.

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