IGL Trials Database

IGL curates a database with randomised controlled trials in the field of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. Browse our list of topics, see it as a map, or use the search function below.

2020
Boudreau, K., Kaushik, N.

This paper reports on a large platform-based field experiment in which 97,696 U.S. university-educated individuals were given the opportunity to join a tech-related product development activity.

2020
Acimovic, J., Balasubramanian, K., Drake, D., Parker, C.

This trial investigates the best way to help agents perform better, as firms providing products and services to low income Base of the Pyramid (BOP) customers are increasingly utilizing independent contractor agents rather than employees in their distribution models.

2020
Carson, R., Graff Zivin, J.S., Louviere, J., Sadoff, S., Shrader Jr, J.G.

This experiment tries to understand how managers respond to uncertainty when making research and development decisions. Three experiments were conducted with master’s degree students in a program focused on the intersection of business and technology.

2020
Dimitriadis, S., Koning, R.

What is preventing entrepreneurs and managers from forming peer connections themselves? This paper argues that entrepreneurs may be under-networked because they lack the necessary social skills that allow them to match efficiently with knowledgeable peers.

2020
Van den Berg, G.J., Dauth, C., Homrighausen, P., Stephan, G.

Using survey and register data, this experiment estimates the effects of the information treatment brochure on awareness of WeGebAU, on take-up of WeGebAU and other training, and on subsequent employment.

2020
Bettinger, E., Chirikov, I., Kizilcec, R.F., Maloshonok, N., Semenova, T.

This trial proposes to evaluate a model for scaling up affordable access to effective STEM education through national online education platforms.

2020
Sandvik, J., Saouma, R., Seegert, N., Stanton, C.

This field experiment was conducted in a sales firm to test whether improving knowledge flows between coworkers affects productivity.

2020
Aker, J., Blumenstock, J., Dillon, B.

A randomized control trial in central Tanzania, centered on the production and distribution of a ”Yellow Pages” phone directory with contact information for local enterprises.

2019
Meager, R.

In this paper, meager jointly estimates the average effect and the heterogeneity in effects across seven studies using Bayesian hierarchical models.

2019
Gosnell, G. K., List, J. A., Metcalfe, R. D.

Increasing evidence indicates the importance of management in determining firms’ productivity. Yet, causal evidence regarding the effectiveness of management practices is scarce, especially for high-skilled workers in the developed world. In an eight-month field experiment measuring the productivity of captains in the commercial aviation sector, we test four distinct management practices: (i) performance monitoring; (ii) performance feedback; (iii) target setting; and (iv) pro-social incentives.

2019
Bapna, S., Ganco, M.

While prior research shows a significant gender gap in traditional equity financing, with mostly male investors who prefer male founders, emerging evidence indicates that gender gaps in funding may not translate to rewards-based crowdfunding, where female entrepreneurs may have an advantage, particularly with female investors. We seek to examine founder gender preferences in the context of equity crowdfunding, which represents a direct counterpart to traditional equity financing and which is a “higher-stakes” context than rewards-based crowdfunding.

2019
Lee, D., Dizon-Ross, R., Krieger, J., Fehder, D., Hochberg, Y.

Lack of secular economic opportunity is believed to be related to social unrest, engagement in terrorism, and association with radical groups. In conflict areas, difficulties accessing economic opportunity and employment are often exacerbated by movement restrictions and investor concerns about safety of physical plant and other capital investments that might enhance employment opportunities. Recent advances in cloud-computing and software-driven services present the promise of a solution through cloud-based entrepreneurial activity.

2019
Kotha, R., Lin, Y., Ohlsson-Corboz, A., Vissa, B.

Does growth training help entrepreneurs to scale-up new ventures? This field experiment answers this question using a sample of 181 startup founders from the population of Singapore based entrepreneurs in 2017.

2019
Giones, F.

The engagement with industry actors is a key element in the transition towards an entrepreneurial university model. The purpose of this paper is to explore the university–industry collaboration (UIC) drivers from the industry side. It analyses how, and to what extent, policy interventions could increase the engagement of industry actors in UICs.

2019
Algan, Y., Crépon, B., Glover, D.

This paper analyses the impact of a large scale randomized experiment that targets firm labor demand by supporting its recruitment practices.

2019
Abebe, G., Fafchamps, M., Koelle, M., and S. Quinn.

What is the effect of exposing motivated youth to firm management in practice? To answer this question, we place young professionals for one month in established firms to shadow middle managers. Using random assignment into program participation, we find positive average effects on wage employment, but no average effect on the likelihood of self-employment. Within the treatment group, we match individuals and firms in batches using a deferred-acceptance algorithm. We show how this allows us to identify heterogeneous treatment effects by firm and intern.

2019
Bertrand, M., Crépon, B.

We assess whether imperfect knowledge of labor regulation hinders job creation at small and medium-sized firms. We partner with a labor law expert in South Africa that provides information to local firms about major topics regarding labor regulation via newsletters and access to a specialized website. We randomly assign 1800 firms to receive free access to this information service for a 21-week period. Three-quarters of the firms offered the service took it up.

2019
Higuchi, Y., Mhede, E., Sonobe, T.

Unlike many other studies, this trial is an impact assessment of training programs that covered quality control and production management as the training topics in addition to entrepreneurship, marketing, and record keeping.

2019
Ubfal, D., Arraiz, I., Beuermann, D., Frese, M., Maffioli, A., Verch, D.

A randomized control trial with 945 entrepreneurs in Jamaica shows positive shortterm impacts of soft-skills training on business outcomes. The effects are concentrated among men, and disappear twelve months after the training. We argue that the main channel is increased adoption of recommended business practices, exclusively observed in the short run. We see persistent effects on an incentivized behavioral measure of perseverance after setbacks, a focus of this training.

2019
Buehren, N., Frese, M., Goldstein, M.

This study conducted two randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effect of mindset-oriented business trainings on the performance of women-owned micro and small enterprises in Ethiopia.

2019
Gornall, W., and I. A. Strebulaev

We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship within a tightly controlled random field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to 28,000 venture capitalists and business angels. Each email was sent by a fictitious entrepreneur with a randomly selected gender (male or female) and race (Asian or White). Female entrepreneurs received an 8% higher rate of interested replies than male entrepreneurs pitching identical projects. Asian entrepreneurs received a 6% higher rate than White entrepreneurs.

2019
Minni, V., Bandiera, O., Ashraf, N.

Differences in productivity may be driven by heterogeneity in skills but also the extent to which individuals are motivated to do their job over and above financial compensation. The proposed research will unpack the sources of intrinsic motivation and test whether these can be leveraged to increase productivity. To do so we will run a cross-country field experiment in collaboration with a multinational company that offers one-day workshops that guide employees on how to connect their individual purpose with their work.

2019
Bjorvatn, K., Cappelem, A., Helgesson Sekei, L., Ø. Sørensen, E., Tungodden, B.

This field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivised to watch an edutainment show.

2019
Burnette, J. L., Pollack, J. M., Forsyth, R. B.

Despite mounting interest in growth mindset interventions, this approach has yet to be applied to the domain of entrepreneurship. In the present research, we developed and tested if a growth mindset intervention could be leveraged to promote students’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy and if this, in turn, predicted career development (i.e., academic interest, career interest, task persistence, and academic performance). We report on our findings, from an Open Science Framework (OSF) preregistered study, that is a randomized controlled trial implementing a growth mindset intervention.

2019
Tobro, T., Ulltveit-Moe, K., H., Moxnes, A.

This study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the effects of mentoring on SMEs in Norway. We aim to get a better understanding of firm development and dynamics in the presence of public interventions. Does mentoring affect firm performance and firm-survival? Does it matter what type of state aid a firm is granted; mentoring versus the financial equivalent of the service? 

2019
Shane, S., Clingingsmith D., Drover W., and Cerf M.

We explore how variation in entrepreneurs' displayed passion affects informal investor interest in start-up ventures by examining neural responses to entrepreneurs' pitches using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We find that founders displaying high passion increase investor neural engagement by 39% and investor interest in the venture by 26% over those displaying low passion. A one standard deviation increase in neural engagement is associated with an 8% percent increase in investors' interest in investing in a start-up company relative to the mean.

2019
Bapna, S., Ganco, M., and Qiu, L.

User entrepreneurs are responsible for the most important innovations in many industries, but little research has explored the performance of firms founded by user entrepreneurs. While user entrepreneurs have a deep knowledge of customer needs that facilitates the identification of innovative solutions, they tend to lack the relevant business knowledge (e.g., market, production, operational and organizational) to successfully exploit opportunities and grow their ventures.

2019
Muehlfeld, K., Rigtering, C., Weitzel, U.

Individual-level opportunity recognition processes are vital to corporate entrepreneurship. However, little is known regarding how managerial communication impacts the effectiveness of idea suggestion systems in stimulating individuals' participation in intrapreneurial ideation. Integrating self-determination theory, creativity, and framing research, we theorize how different ways of inviting employees to submit proposals (opt-out/opt-in registration; provision of examples) affect the number and quality of submitted ideas.

2019
Bouguen, A., Frölich, M., Hörner, D., Wollni, M.

In this study we assess the effects of a decentralized extension program and an additional video intervention on the adoption of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) among 2,382 farmers in Ethiopia using a randomized controlled trial. ISFM should enhance soil fertility and productivity by combining organic and inorganic soil amendments. We find that both extension-only and extension combined with video increase ISFM adoption and knowledge.

2019
Gambardella, A., Camuffo, A., Cordova, A.

A classical approach to collecting and elaborating information to make entrepreneurial decisions combines search heuristics such as trial and error, effectuation, and confirmatory search. This paper develops a framework for exploring the implications of a more scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making. The panel sample of our randomized control trial includes 116 Italian startups and 16 data points over a period of about one year.

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