Title: Country-level business performance and policy asymmetries in the UK

Authors: Anthony Plumridge, Don J. Webber, Martin Boddy, John Hudson

Addresses: Department of Economics, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK. ' Department of Economics, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK. ' Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of the West of England, UK, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK. ' Department of Economics and International Development, University of Bath, UK

Abstract: The HM Treasury identifies the key |drivers| of business performance and productivity differentials, which include skills, investment and competition. This paper presents an empirical investigation into the effects of these drivers on business-level productivity per employee across England, Scotland and Wales in order to identify whether spatial differences in the influence of these drivers exist. We adopt the Cobb-Douglas production function approach and our results suggest that, after taking account of sector-specific effects, productivity differentials do exist between businesses across the UK and that policy instruments do potentially enhance productivity. The results indicate that these key drivers are equally applicable across the countries of the UK. However, there is evidence to suggest that the scale effects for labour and capital do differ across England, Wales and Scotland and that policy-makers should be aware of these asymmetries.

Keywords: productivity per employee; HM Treasury; key drivers; scale effects; UK; United Kingdom; business performance; policy instruments; labour; capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBPM.2008.019989

International Journal of Business Performance Management, 2008 Vol.10 No.4, pp.305 - 317

Available online: 20 Aug 2008 *

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