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Do industries matter?

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  • Sako, Mari
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    Abstract

    This paper poses the question 'Do Industries Matter?' in order to shed light on what observation-based Industry Studies researchers can offer empirical economists using large-scale datasets. I argue that industries matter from three distinct perspectives. First, the methodological approach in Industry Studies adds value to economists' normal activity of testing and generating theory. Data collected using Industry Studies methods can lead to new ideas and theory-building. Second, industries matter as they provide an institutional and historical context in which to study firms and workers. Such context improves the interpretation of how and why different practices and institutions fit together in specific industries. Third, recognizing differences in what is meant by an industry improves our ability to interpret specific 'industry dummies' in regressions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VFD-4PRYFWT-1/2/40c6ad014bea1c210419d0a3049fe0f8
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 673-686

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:673-686

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

    Related research

    Keywords: Industry Studies Methodology Economics and Management Institutions;

    References

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    1. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521452700, October.
    2. Schmalensee, Richard., 1984. "Do markets differ much?," Working papers 1531-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    3. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667, December.
    4. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Performance Pay and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "The Dynamics and Evolution of Industries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 51-87.
    6. John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
    7. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-81.
    8. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    9. Coase, R H, 1988. "The Nature of the Firm: Origin," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 3-17, Spring.
    10. Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
    11. Schmalensee, Richard, 1988. "Industrial Economics: An Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(392), pages 643-81, September.
    12. Sako, Mari & Helper, Susan, 1998. "Determinants of trust in supplier relations: Evidence from the automotive industry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 387-417, March.
    13. Caves, R E & Porter, M E, 1977. "From Entry Barriers to Mobility Barriers: Conjectural Decisions and Contrived Deterrence to New Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 241-61, May.
    14. Morris M. Kleiner & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Who Benefits Most from Employee Involvement: Firms or Workers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 219-223, May.
    15. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556, October.
    16. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
    17. Timothy J. Sturgeon, 2002. "Modular production networks: a new American model of industrial organization," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 451-496, June.
    18. Mari Sako, 2004. "Supplier development at Honda, Nissan and Toyota: comparative case studies of organizational capability enhancement," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 281-308, April.
    19. Susan Helper, 2000. "Economists and Field Research: "You Can Observe a Lot Just by Watching."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 228-232, May.
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