Professor Nigel Driffield (AcSS)

Economics and Strategy Group

Nigel Driffield

Nigel Driffield is professor of international business at Aston Business School, and is a member of the Business and management REF panel. He is also on the editorial review board of JIBS. He served as interim Dean of Aston Business School for the year 2012/13. He has published 68 papers to date, including 4 in JIBS. In addition to his work on FDI and issues related to technology transfer, he also has a strong interest in the implications of FDI for economic development, and has worked extensively with policy makers in this areaHe is currently pursuing a number of ideas using a large scale Chinese data set, one of which will form the basis of the presentation.

Finally, he has held four ESRC awards, and currently holds a Leverhulme Fellowship, looking at the interactions between multinationals location strategy and economic development. 

Position: Professor
Phone:+44(0)121 204 3209
Email: Nigel.Driffield@aston.ac.uk
Room: SW1015


  • Ph D, Reading University, 1991. Subject: Economics
  • MA, University of East Anglia, 1988. Subject: Economics
  • BA, University of East Anglia, 1987. Subject: Economics (with Maths)


  • Professor, Aston Business School. (January 1, 2004 - Present)
  • Interim Executive Dean, Aston Business School. (September 2012 - June 2013)
  • Reader, University of Birmingham. (2002 - 2003)
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham. (2000 - 2002)
  • Lecturer, Cardiff Business School. (1991 - 2000)
  • BSM634, International Business Research
  • BUP100, Undergraduate Placement Assessment
  • DISS1, Dissertation Part 1
  • DISS2, Dissertation Part 2
  • DR1SUP, Doctoral Supervision 1
  • DR2SUP, Doctoral Supervision 2
  • MBAPROJ, Project Part B
  • XPBA01, Placement

 I have interests in the economics of FDI, as well as industrial economics, and issues relating to labour markets more generally.  I have had three ESRC funded projects in this area, and from September 2013 I start a two year Leverhulme fellowship looking at the relationships between internationally mobile capital and economic development, both in the context of host and source countries. This is related to further work with Tomasz Mickiewicz and Yama Temouri on the links between governance, FDI and firm performance.

This builds on earlier work with Jim Love, concerned with linking the impacts of FDI on the host country to the motivation for companies to undertake foreign investment. I have two recent papers in  The Journal of International Business Studies in this area. I also serve on the editorial review board of the Journal of International Business Studies. The ideas here are developed from a recent ESRC project on “who really gains from inward investment”, and details of the 10 papers from this project can be found here.

 I also have a passing interest in finance, specifically leverage models and how a firm's leverage impacts on firm performance, and its foreign and domestic investment decisions.

  • ESRC: FDI, governance and firm performance. 2008-2010 £130K
  • OECD: The location of high technology activity. 2009 £15K
  • ESRC: Corporate capital structure in East Asia before and after the crisis. 2003- 2005  £39,000
  • ESRC: Who really gains from inward investment ? Commenced March 2004 £47,250.
  • UKTI: Analysis of exporting behaviour in small firms, June 2006 £20000
  • Advantage West Midlands: Factors Influencing the Relative Performance of the West Midlands. June 2006 £45000.
  • MIER (Manchester): Growing indigenous and inward investment. 2008. £135000
  • Office of Fair Trading: Competition policy and monopoly abuse, September 1996 - June 1998, £35,000
  • DTI /Scottish Executive / Welsh Assembly /Northern Ireland (DETI): Review of Regional Selective Assistance/SFA/SFIE. £320000 2006.
  • Nuffield Foundation: The Local Impacts of Inward FDI Across The UK and Italy, Commenced November 2002, £5,800.
  • European Commission: The impact of internationally mobile capital on the regions of the UK, July 1995 £8000.
  • UKTI: A Comparative Evaluation of the Impact of UK Trade & Investment’s R&D Programme and Other UKTI Support that Impacts R&D. 2009 £90000

Director of the Research Degrees Programme, Aston Business School (2004- 2007)

  • Abd Halim Mohd Noor: inward investment and technological effort in Malaysia 
  • Stefano Menghinello: Location of FDI, clusters and performance 
  • Yi He: success factors in foreign acquisituion in China 
  • Satomi Kimino: FDI into Japan.
  • Yama Temouri: outward FDI, employment and productivity in Germany 
  • David Schmidt: FDI as arbitrage, capital transfer between parents and affiliates 
  • Meng Song: internationalisation and innovation in China (submitted March 2014)

  • Member, Academy of International Business.
  • Member, Academy of Social Sciences.
  • Member, ESRC Employment and education economics group.
  • Member, European Association for Research in Industrial Economics.
  • Member, Higher Education Academy.
  • Member, Royal Economic Society. 
  • Driffield, Nigel L., Mickiewicz, Tomasz and Temouri, Yama (2013). Institutional reforms, productivity and profitability: From rents to competition? Journal of Comparative Economics, 41 (2), pp. 583-600.

  • Driffield, N.L., Love, J.H. and Yang Yong (2014). Technology Sourcing and Reverse Productivity Spillovers in the MNE: Global or Regional Phenomenon? British Journal Of Management, forthcoming.

  • Yong Yang, Martins, P.S. and Driffield, N. (2013). Multinational Performance and the Geography of FDI:Evidence from 46 Countries Management International Review, forthcoming.

  • Driffield, N.L., Jones, C. and Crotty, J. (2012). International business research and risky investments, an analysis of FDI in conflict zones.  International Business Review, Volume 22 (1), February 2013, pp.140–155.

  • Coricelli, F., Driffield, N.L., Roland, I. and Pal, S. (2013).  When does leverage hurt productivity growth? A firm level analysis.  Journal of International Money and Finance, vol. 31 (6) pp. 1674–1694.

  • Yong Yang and Nigel Driffield (2012). Multinationality-Performance Relationship: A Meta-Analysis. Management International Review, Vol 52(1) pp. 23-47.

  • Menghinello, S., DePropris, L. and Driffield, N. (2010)  Localised Competitive Advantages: Local Industrial Systems  in Italy as Engines of International Trade and Economic Development. Journal of Economic Geography, Vol 10(4) pp. 539-558.

  • Driffield, N., Love, J.H. and Menghinello, S. (2010) The Multinational Enterprise as a Source of International Knowledge Flows: Direct Evidence from Italy. Journal of International Business Studies, Vol 41(2) pp. 350-359.

  • Driffield, N.L. and Pal, S. (2010) Evolution of Capital Structure in East Asia – Corporate Inertia or Endeavours? Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (series A), Vol 173, Part 1, pp. 1–29.



Driffield, N.L. (1996) Global competition and the UK labour market. Harwood, Reading.
Clarke, R., Davies, S.W. and Driffield, N.L. (1998) Monopoly policy in the UK: Assessing the evidence. Edward Elgar.

Referred Journal Articles 

  • 1) Driffield, N.L. and  Munday, M.C. (1998) ‘The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on UK Manufacturing: Is there a profit squeeze in domestic firms?’ Applied Economics, Vol. 30, pp. 705-7090.
  • 2) Driffield, N.L. (1999) ‘Determinants of entry and exit in the foreign sector of UK manufacturing.’ Applied Economics Letters, Vol. 6 pp. 153-156.
  • 3) Driffield, N.L. (1999). ‘The indirect employment effects of FDI into the UK.’ Bulletin of Economic Research, Vol. 51(3) pp. 207-222.
  • 4) Davies, S.W., Driffield, N.L. and Clarke, R. (1999) ‘Monopoly in the UK: What determines whether the MMC finds against the investigated firms.’ Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 47(3) pp. 263-284.
  • 5) Driffield, N.L. (1999) ‘Regulation of the petrol industry in the UK: issues and evidence.’ International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol. 6(3), pp. 349-365.
  • 6) Driffield, N.L. and Munday, M.C. (2000) ‘Industrial performance, agglomeration, and foreign manufacturing investment in the UK.’ Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 31(1) pp.21-37.
  • 7) Driffield, N.L. and Taylor, K. (2000) ‘FDI and the labour market: A review of the evidence and policy implications.’ Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 16(3) pp. 90-103.
  • 8) Driffield, N.L. and Ioannidis, C. (2000) ‘Effectiveness and effects of attempts to regulate the UK petrol industry.’ Energy Economics, Vol. 22(3) pp. 369-381.
  • 9) Driffield, N.L. and Abd Halim Mohd Noor (2000) ‘Foreign direct investment and local input linkages in Malaysia.’ Transnational Corporations, Vol. 8(3) pp. 1-25.
  • 10) Driffield, N.L. (2001) ‘The impact on domestic productivity of inward investment in the UK.’ The Manchester School, Vol. 69(1) pp103-119.
  • 11) Driffield, N.L. (2001) ‘Inward investment and host country market structure: The case of the UK’. Review of Industrial Organization, Vol. 18(4) pp. 363-378.
  • 12) Driffield, N.L. (2001) ‘Inward investment, industry concentration and the speed of adjustment.’ Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, Vol. 137(2) pp. 193-214.
  • 13) Driffield, N.L. and Munday, M.C. (2001) ‘Technical Efficiency in UK Industries: A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach.’ Regional Studies, Vol. 35(5) pp. 391-99.
  • 14) Driffield, N.L. and Pal, S. (2001) ‘The East Asian Crisis and Financing Corporate Investment: Is There A Cause for Concern?’ Journal of Asian Economics, Vol. 12 (4) pp. 507-527.
  • 15) Driffield, N.L. (2002) ‘Determinants of Inward investment in the UK, a panel analysis.’ Applied Economics, Vol. 34(3) pp. 555-560.
  • 16) Abd Halim Mohd Noor, Clarke, R. and Driffield, N.L. (2002) ‘Multinational enterprises and technological effort by local firms: a case study of the Malaysian electronics and electrical industry.’ Journal of Development Studies, vol. 38, pp. 129-141. 
  • 17) Driffield, N.L., Munday, M. and Roberts, A. (2002) ‘Foreign Direct Investment, Transactions Linkages, And The Performance Of The Domestic Sector.’ International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol. 9(3) pp. 335-351.
  • 18) Bailey, D. and Driffield, N.L. (2002) ‘Hymer and Uneven Development Revisited: FDI and regional inequalities.’ Contributions to Political Economy, Vol. 21 pp. 55-69.
  • 19) Driffield, N. and Girma, S. (2003) ‘Regional Foreign Direct Investment and Wage Spillovers: Plant Level Evidence From the U.K Electronics Industry.’ Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 65, (4) pp 453-474. 
  • 20) Driffield, N.L. and Hughes, D.R. (2003) ‘Foreign and domestic investment: Complements or substitutes?’ Regional Studies, Vol. 37(3) pp 277-288.
  • 21) Driffield, N.L., Ioannidis, C. and Peel, D.A. (2003)  ‘Some Further Empirical Evidence on the Impact of Oil Price Changes on Petrol Prices.’ International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol. 10 (2) pp. 195-203.
  • 22) Driffield, N.L. and.Kambhampati, U.S. (2003)  ‘Efficiency of Firms in Indian Industry: The Effect of Reforms.’ The Review of Development Economics, Vol. 7 (3) pp. 419-430
  • 23) Driffield, N.L. and Love, J.H. (2003) ‘FDI, Technology Sourcing and Reverse Spillovers.’ The Manchester School, Vol. 71 (6) pp. 659-672.
  • 24) Driffield, N.L. Munday, M. and Roberts, A. (2004) ‘Inward investment, transactions linkages, and productivity spillovers.’ Papers in Regional Science, Vol. 83 (4), pp. 699-722.
  • 25) Driffield, N.L. (2004) ‘Regional Policy and Spillovers from FDI in the UK.’ Annals of Regional Science, 38 (4) pp 579-574.
  • 26) Driffield, N.L. and Taylor, K. (2005)‘Are foreign firms more technologically intensive? UK establishment evidence from the ARD.’ The Scottish Journal of Political Economy Vol. 52  (1) pp. 38-53.
  • 27) Beynon, M.  and Driffield, N.L. (2005) ‘An illustration of Variable Precision Rough Set Theory: An analysis of the findings of the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission.’ Computers & Operations Research, Vol. 32 (7) pp.  1739-1759
  • 28) Taylor, K.  and Driffield, N.L. (2005) Wage dispersion and the role of multinationals: Evidence from UK panel data. Labour Economics, Labour Economics 12 (1) 223–249
  • 29) De Propris, L., Driffield, N., and Menghinello, S. (2005) ‘Local Industrial Systems and the Location of FDI in Italy.’ International Journal of the Economics of Business, Vol. 12, (1) pp. 105–121.
  • 30) Driffield, N.L. and Love, J.H. (2005) ‘Who Gains from Whom? Spillovers, competition and technology sourcing in the foreign-owned sector of UK manufacturing.’ The Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol 52 (5) pp 663-686.
  • 31) Driffield, N.L. and Love, J.H. (2005) ‘Intra-Industry FDI, Uneven Development and Globalisation: the Legacy of Stephen Hymer.’ Contributions in Political Economy, vol 24 55-78.
  • 32) Driffield, N. and De Propris, L. (2006) ‘FDI, clusters and technology sourcing.’ The Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol 30: 277 - 291
  • 33) Driffield, N.L. (2006) ‘On the search for spillovers from FDI with spatial dependency.’. Regional Studies, vol 40, (2) 107--119.
  • 34) Driffield, N.L. and Taylor, K. (2006) ‘Domestic wage determination: Regional Spillovers and inward investment.’ Spatial Economic Analysis, vol. 1(2) pp. 187-205
  • 35) Driffield, N.L. and Love, J.H. (2006) ‘Does The Motivation for Foreign Direct Investment Affect Productivity Spillovers to The Domestic Sector?’ Applied Economics Quarterly, 52 (1) pp 3-26
  • 36) Driffield, N.L. and Pal, S. (2006) ‘Returns from internal and external funds: evidence from East Asian economies.’ Journal of Asian Economics, vol. 17(1), pp 171-188.
  • 37) Bailey, D and Driffield, N. (2007) Industrial policy, fdi and employment: still a ‘missing a strategy’? Journal of Competition, Industry and Trade, vol 7 (3) pp 189-211.
  • 38) Driffield, N. and Love, J. (2007) Linking FDI motivation and host economy productivity effects: conceptual and empirical analysis, Journal of International Business Studies, vol 38 (2) 460-473.
  • 39) Kimino, S., Saal, D. and Driffield, N (2007) Macro determinants of FDI inflows to Japan by source country characteristics. World Economy 30 (3), 446–469.
  • 40) Driffield, N., Mahambare, V. and Pal, S. (2007) How Ownership Structure Affects Capital Structure and Firm Performance? Recent Evidence from East Asia., Economics of Transition, vol. 15 (3) pp 535-573.
  • 41) Driffield, N. and Du, J. (2007) Privatisation, State Ownership and Productivity: Evidence from China. International Journal Of The Economics Of Business, vol 14 (2) pp 215-239.
  • 42) Temouri, Y., Driffield, N.L. and Higon, D.A. (2008) ‘Analysis of productivity differences among foreign and domestic firms: Evidence from Germany’, The Review of World Economics, Vol.144 (1), pp 32-54. 
  • 43) Driffield, N, Du, J and Girma, S. (2008) Optimal geographic diversification and firm performance: Evidence from the UK. Journal of Productivity Analysis, vol. 30(2), pages 145-154,
  • 44) Driffield, N. Love, JH and Taylor, K. (2009)Productivity and Labour Demand Effects of Inward and Outward FDI on UK Industry. Manchester School, vol 77(2) pp. 171-203. (Nominated for best paper award, AIB 2008) 
  • 45) Temouri, Y and Driffield, N. (2009) Does German foreign direct investment lead to job losses at home? Applied Economics Quarterly, 55 (3), pp. 243-263
  • 46) Driffield, N and P.C. (Michelle) Chiang. (2009) The effects Outsourcing to China. Reallocation, employment and  productivity in Taiwan. International Journal of the economics of business, Volume 16 (1) pp. 19 – 38 
  • 47) Driffield, N.L. and Pal, S. (2010) Evolution of Capital Structure in East Asia – Corporate Inertia or Endeavours? Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (series A), vol 173, Part 1, pp. 1–29
  • 48) Bhaumik, S., Driffield, N. and Pal, S. Does (2010) Ownership Concentration Affect MNE Operations? The Case of Indian Automobiles and Pharmaceuticals.  Journal of International Business Studies 41 (3), pp. 437–450
  • 49) Driffield, N Love, J.H. and Menghinello, S. (2010) The Multinational Enterprise as a Source of International Knowledge Flows: Direct Evidence from Italy. Journal of International Business Studies,. 41 (2) pp. 350-359
  • 50) Añón Higón D. and Driffield, N.L. (2010) Exporting and Innovation Performance: Analysis of the Annual Small Business Survey in the UK. International Small Business Journal. vol. 29 no. 1, pp.  4-24
  • 51) Menghinello, S., DePropris, L. and Driffield, N. (2010)  Localised competitive advantages: Local industrial systems  in Italy as engines of international trade and economic development. Journal of Economic Geography, vol 10 (4) pp. 539-558 
  • 52) Temouri, Y. Driffield, N., and Higon, D.A. (2010) Outward Foreign Direct Investment and Firm Performance. Applied Economics Quarterly, vol 56 (1) pp. 31-50. 
  • 53) Temouri, Y. Driffield, N. and Anon Higon, D. (2010) Offshoring: A multi-country study of FDI in high-technology sectors. Futures (special edition on the future of international business) vol 42 (9) pp. 960-970.
  • 54) Bhaumik, S. and Driffield, N.  (2011) Direction of outward FDI of EMNEs: vidence from the Indian pharmaceutical sector. Thunderbird Review of IB, vol 53 (5) pp. 615-628.
  • 55) Yong Yang and Nigel Driffield (2012) Multinationality-Performance Relationship: A Meta-Analysis. Management International Review, Vol. 52 (1)  pp. 23-47.
  • 56) Kimino, S. Driffield, N. and Saal, D. (2012)  Do keiretsu really hinder FDI into Japanese manufacturing? International Journal Of The Economics Of Business, forthcoming.
  • 57) Narula, R. and Driffield, N.L. (2012) Does FDI cause development?  The ambiguity of the evidence and why it matters. European Journal of Development Research, vol 24(1) pp 1-7.
  • 58) Driffield, N.L. and Jindra, B. (2012) Challenging the production function approach to assess the developmental effects of FDI. European Journal of Development Research, vol 24 (1) pp 32-37.
  • 60) Fabrizio Coricelli, Driffield, N.L., Roland, I and Pal, S. (2013)  When does leverage hurt productivity growth? A firm level analysis.  Journal of international Money and Finance, forthcoming.
  • 61) Driffield, N., Jones, C., Crotty, J. (2013). International business research and risky investments, an analysis of FDI in conflict zones. International Business Review, 22(1), 140-155
  • 62) Driffield, N., Mickiewicz, T., Temouri, Y. (2013). Institutional reforms, productivity and profitability: from rents to competition?. Journal of Comparative Economics, 41, 583-600.
  • 63) Driffield, N., Mickiewicz, T., Temouri, Y. (2014). Institutions and equity structure of foreign affiliates. Corporate Governance: An International Review.
  • 64) Driffield, N., Love, J., Yang, Y. (2014). Technology Sourcing and Reverse Productivity Spillovers in the MNE: Global or Regional Phenomenon?. British Journal of Management, 25, S24-S41.
  • 65) Driffield, N., Kimino, S., Saal, D. Spillovers from FDI and Local Networks: The Importance of Transactional linkages and Vertical Keiretsu in Japan.


Policy Evaluation and Impact 

I have in recent years carried out numerous pieces of policy oriented work, at international, national and local levels. These include, with others at Aston, evaluations of RSA / SfIE, an evaluation of programmes to support investment in R&D, barriers to finance for small business, and an assessment of foreign and domestic investment as part of the Manchester Independent Economic Review.

More recently, I was a core member of the Greater Birmingham Project, the GBSLEP’s response to the Heseltine Report. My focus was on sector development, inward investment and the relationship between Whitehall and the LEPs.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research