Do industries matter?
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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