Staff Directory

Professor Nigel Driffield


Research Interests

Since my PhD my main area of research has been the economics of international business. The focus of this is the nexus between firm strategy, such as location decisions, and local responses seeking to influence this in both home and host country. One strand of my work therefore includes both work rooted in management and strategy literature, explaining for example location decisions or firm performance, as well as financing decisions. The other is concerned with the impacts of international capital flows.
The literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational enterprise tends to divide into studies seeking to examine the motives for firms undertaking FDI (international economics, international business) and those that seek to evaluate the impacts of inward FDI on host countries, regions or individual markets (labour economics, industrial economics, regional science). I have made significant contributions in both of these literatures, including four papers in the Journal of International Business Studies, and I am widely cited in both. My first paper on spillovers has been cited more than 200 times, and my first Journal of International Business Studies paper is cited more than 100 times.
More recently however, I have sought to bring these literatures together, with two recent publications in the Journal of International Business Studies, and one that won the best paper award at the AIB conference in Milan, are making an impact with both policy makers and academics (this is the basis of my Impact case for REF 2013) . An inward investment agency informed me that they use the model developed in these papers to directly inform their funding decisions. This is based on a further Journal of International Business Studies paper that links institutions to FDI. I have also published a number of papers on the links between international technology transfer and FDI, though focussing on firm level phenomena rather than more macro data, leading to for example a paper in The Journal of Economic geography.

Some recent externally funded projects:
Leverhulme Fellowship: inward investment and local economic development: 2013 -2015.

ESRC: Who really gains from inward investment

ESRC: Maximising the benefits of inward investment. (A follow on award working with GBSLEP and Business Birmingham):

ESRC: FDI, governance and firm performance.

ESRC: Corporate capital structure in East Asia before and after the crisis.

OECD: The location of high technology activity.

Manchester Independent Economic Review: Growing indigenous and inward investment.

BIS Foresight: The future of inward investment in manufacturing, part of the BIS foresight report into the future of manufacturing.

Teaching in 2016-2017

Distance Learning MBA
  • IB8180: International Business
Executive MBA
  • IB9S10: International Business
International Business
  • IB9EU0: Research in International Business
Research Students
  • IB9EK0: Advanced Issues in Strategy and International Business
  • LA2300: Law and the International Business Environment

Strategy & International Business

Email:  /  Tel: 024 765 24622  /  Room: 2.118


I am a Professor of International Business at Warwick Business School, having held a similar post at Aston Business School for 10 years. I have a PhD from Reading University, and have published some 70 academic papers across a range of disciplines including international business, regional science, finance, and labour and industrial economics.
I currently hold a Leverhulme Fellowship, investigating the impact of internationally mobile capital on both home and source countries, particularly in terms of competitiveness and labour markets.
I am on the editorial review board of the Journal of International Business Studies, and was a member of the Management and Business Panel for REF2014.
More generally, I have held 4 ESRC awards, and have carried out research and consultancy projects for UNCTAD, OECD, World Bank, European Commission, and in the UK several Government Departments including UKTI and BIS, and several local Regional Development bodies in the UK and elsewhere. I was on the Executive for the (Heseltine) Greater Birmingham Project with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, and held a similar role in the production of the Strategic Economic Plan.


Journal Articles

Book Item

  • Driffield, N. L., Henry, M. and Love, J. H. (2008) "Trade, technology transfer, and productivity spillovers", Volume 4, 75-94, Lit ; Global Book Marketing [distributor], Berlin ; London


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