We analyze, benchmark, and run randomized controlled trials on a panel of 7,463 U.S. entrepreneurs making incentivized sales forecasts. We assess accuracy using a novel administrative dataset obtained in collaboration with a leading US payment processing firm. At baseline, only 13% of entrepreneurs can forecast their firm’s sales in the next three months within 10% of the realized value, with 7.3% of the mean squared error attributable to bias and the remaining 92.7% attributable to noise.
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.
This project is a collaboration with Corner to Corner to study the impact of their entrepreneurship training course on financial stability. Corner to Corner, a Nashville-based nonprofit, is focused on their mission of helping their neighbors to flourish and addressing the racial wealth gap. One of their primary programs is The Academy, a 10-week entrepreneurship training course that teaches students the fundamentals of starting and operating their own business.
Climate change poses an urgent and existential threat to the wine sector. However, it is not easy for wineries and farmers to take action to reduce carbon emission comparing to adaptation. How can we encourage these actions? Farmers often seek information before take action, which influences their current risk perceptions of extreme weather condition or moral norms. Regarding the information, a positive approach focusing on empowering farmers to take action to address climate change is generally more successful at engaging people and minimizing defensive reactions.
Microcredit promised business growth for small firms lacking access to banking loans. Although microcredit has reached millions, recent randomized evaluations find limited average business impacts. Critics often blame contract rigidity, specifically the fixed and frequent installments, for the lack of productive risk-taking. But such rigidity may instill borrower discipline. This study partnered with a Colombian lender that offered first-time borrowers a flexible loan that permitted delaying up to three monthly repayments.
This project aims to understand the determinants of adoption of a new technology by firms in Bangladesh's leather goods and footwear industry.
This study assesses, via a field experiment, how a comprehensive teacher training program affects the delivery of a major entrepreneurship curriculum reform in Rwanda. The reform introduced interactive pedagogy and a focus on business skills in the country’s required upper secondary entrepreneurship course. Both groups received the government’s standard training. In addition, the treatment group was assigned intensive training organized by an NGO for two years.
A randomised controlled trial has been performed in which 580 randomly selected pupils (aged 14-15) have been randomly assigned to participate in online programmes that focus either on entrepreneurship or on environmental issues. . The short-term results show that the programme focusing on entrepreneurship had a significantly positive influence on the participants’ entrepreneurial intentions, venture creation self-efficacy, entrepreneurial attitudes and perceived knowledge about entrepreneurship
We experimentally study the impact of substantially larger enterprise loans, in collaboration with an Egyptian lender. Larger loans generate small average impacts, but machine learning using psychometric data reveals dramatic heterogeneity. Top-performers (i.e., those with the highest predicted treatment effects) substantially increase profits, whereas profits for poor-performers drop. The magnitude of this difference implies that an individual lender’s credit allocation choices matter for aggregate income.
This study asks why more small firms in developing countries do not use the market for professional business services like accounting, marketing, and human resource specialists and asks how this could be altered.
This trial measures the impact of an edutainment program specifically designed to promote entrepreneurship among young adult viewers in Egypt.
This randomised experiment tested the impact of exogenously inducing higher financial aspirations among poor entrepreneurs.
This experiment tests the impact of a program with the main goal of helping firms to attract new customers, expand markets, adapt their business model, and bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic by boosting demand for their products.
This paper studies the role of diversity and performance in the entrepreneurial teams.
Prior research suggests that firms in entrepreneurial settings benefit from a scientific approach to decision making that combines cognitive and evidence-based components. But to what extent and under what conditions is the scientific approach to decision-making associated with superior performance?
Do capital grants improve microenterprise productivity? We use the lens of a production function to re-examine two previous randomised controlled trials that allocated capital to microenterprises. We find that productivity is higher for treated firms, and accounts for about 20-30 percent of the revenue effects of capital grants. Although long-run estimates are noisy, point estimates indicate that these productivity effects are sustained six years after the grants.
This project evaluated the impact of a program aiming to improve the workplace climate in corporations.
The model shows that managers and entrepreneurs make better decisions under uncertainty if they adopt a scientific approach in which they formulate and test theories.
This paper studies the medium-term impacts of the Skills for Effective Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) program, an innovative in-residence 3-week mini-MBA program for high school students modeled after western business school curricula and adapted to the Ugandan context.
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.
This paper asks to what extent firms are aware of readily available information on key competitor decisions, and how this information impacts firms’ strategic choices.
In this study, we empirically examine the effect of sharing information with close or distant competitors as part of an incubation program. There is recent evidence of substantial heterogeneity in acceleration programs, with qualitative research highlighting that the main benefit for participants to these programs is the increased exposure to information and the feedback they obtain. Such exposure helps balance the bounded rationality of founders.
This paper evaluates the effect of joint tasks on the creation of network ties with data from a novel field experiment with 112 aspiring entrepreneurs.
Indian weaving firms are visited again nine years after a randomized experiment that changed their management practices.
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.
This paper tests the role of three behavioral biases: present bias, limited memory, and overconfidence about memory.
The use of machine learning (ML) for productivity in the knowledge economy requires considerations of important biases that may arise from ML predictions. We define a new source of bias related to incompleteness in real time inputs, which may result from strategic behavior by agents. We theorize that domain expertise of users can complement ML by mitigating this bias. Our observational and experimental analyses in the patent examination context support this conjecture.
Many have advocated for the expansion of peer review to improve scientific judgments in law and public policy. One such test case is the patent examination process, with numerous commentators arguing that scientific peer review can solve informational deficits in patent determinations. We present results from a novel randomized ﬁeld experiment, carried out over the course of three years, in which 336 prominent scientific experts agreed to provide input on U.S. patent applications. Their input was edited for compliance with submission requirements and submitted to the U.S.
Expansion of e-commerce presents new opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter broader market at lower costs, but the SMEs face barriers to growth after entry. To facilitate new entrants to overcome these barriers, this paper explores implementing a training program as a randomized controlled experiment with over two million new sellers on a large e-commerce platform.
This study builds on the assumption that the common experiential design of entrepreneurship education stimulates entrepreneurial learning via social interaction with peers. The analysis focuses on gendered peer effects at the pre-nascent stage of the entrepreneurial process and on the role of team emotional intelligence in the context of entrepreneurship education.
This paper compares how two common incentive schemes affect innovative performance in a field experiment run in partnership with a large life sciences company.