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We develop a database of all empirical research related to operations management in the journals Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management (M&SOM), and Production and Operations Management (POM) from the beginning of 1999 to the end of 2016. This database includes 236 empirical papers. We analyze the set of empirical papers to look for longitudinal trends and other bibliometric patterns. In particular, we show that (a) empirical research as a whole is gaining in popularity as measured by the publication rates in these three journals, (b) empirical papers in M&SOM are more likely to get citations than nonempirical papers, and (c) researchers are now more commonly using instrumental variables and are more likely to consider endogeneity challenges in their research design. Using our database, we propose three dimensions on which empirical operations management papers can be compared, including their main objective, their data sources, and their identification strategy.

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