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Do industries matter?


  • Sako, Mari


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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  • Sako, Mari, 2008. "Do industries matter?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 673-686, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:673-686

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. 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.
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    10. Schmalensee, Richard, 1985. "Do Markets Differ Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 341-351, June.
    11. Klepper, Steven, 1997. "Industry Life Cycles," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 145-181.
    12. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556, March.
    13. 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.
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    15. 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.
    16. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Valeria Cirillo & Mario Pianta & Leopoldo Nascia, 2015. "The Dynamics of Skills: Technology and Business Cycles," LEM Papers Series 2015/30, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.


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