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Title: Essays on firm location decisions
Author: Simpson, Helen
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis uses detailed plant and establishment-level data to investigate firm location decisions in a national and international context. It extends the existing empirical literature in a number of areas. First, it provides new evidence on the effects of overseas foreign direct investment (FDI) on the structure of multinational firms' home-country operations. It demonstrates that investment abroad in relatively low-wage economies is associated with plant closures in relatively. low-skill, labour-intensive industries in the UK, consistent with the theory of vertical FDI. Second, it examines location decisions within the UK. It provides evidence on the extent to which UK industries are agglomerated, and shows that many of the most geographically clustered production sector industries are older and relatively low-tech. The research then presents new evidence on the extent to which business-sector research and development (R&D) activity is located in the vicinity of university research departments in Great Britain. It finds that pharmaceuticals R&D establishments tend to locate near to both lower and highly-rated chemistry departments. The relationship is strongest with respect to chemistry departments carrying out frontier research, and is even stronger when considering only foreign-owned establishments. The thesis also investigates how the presence of potential agglomeration externalities interacts with grant schemes designed to attract firms to relatively deprived areas. The results suggest that regions' existing industrial structures have an important effect on entrants' location decisions, and that fiscal incentives have more leverage when offered in areas that also have localisation benefits. The research also presents evidence that relative wages, of skilled versus unskilled workers, vary considerably across Great Britain, and that skill-abundant regions exhibit lower skill premia than skill-scarce regions. It demonstrates that the observed spatial variation in relative wages is related to differences in regions' industrial structures with skill-abundant regions housing a higher concentration of skill-intensive manufacturing industries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available