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
Cusolito, A.P., Dautović, E., McKenzie, D.

Innovative firms with good ideas may still struggle to fine-tune them to the stage where they can attract outside funding. We conduct a five-country randomized experiment that tests the impact of an investment readiness program. Firms then pitched their ideas to independent judges.  The program resulted in a 0.3 standard deviation increase in the investment readiness score. Two years later, the average impacts on firm investment outcomes are positive, but small in magnitude, and not statistically significant.

2020
Gray, G., Guinan, E., Lakhani, K., Lane, J., Menietti, M., Ranu, H., Teplitskiy, M.

This paper investigates the role of information sharing among experts as the driver of evaluation decisions.

2020
Camuffo, A., Gambardella, A., Spina, C.

Identifying the most promising business ideas is key to the introduction of novel firms, but predicting their success can be difficult. It is argued that if entrepreneurs adopt a scientific approach by formulating problems clearly, developing theories about the implications of their actions, and testing these theories, they make better decisions.

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
Cai, J., Wang, S.Y.

In this paper, a randomised experiment measures the effects of workers at an automobile manufacturing firm evaluating their managers on worker and firm outcomes.

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.

2020
Coville, A., Osman, A., Piza, C.

The study is an impact evaluation of a training program that induced SMEs to adopt broadband connections, establish presence on online retail and potentially export their goods or services.

2020
Higuchi, Y., Mhede, E. P., Nam, V. H., Sonobe, T.

This paper investigates the impact of management training programs on garment clusters in Vietnam and Tanzania.

2020
E. Davies., Iacovone, L., McKenzie, D.

This study investigates the extent to which training can be remotely taught to small groups via Zoom sessions, with a sample of female microenterprise owners recruited from throughout Mexico and Guatemala.

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
Kim, H.

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.

2020
Kim, H., Spina, C.

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.

2020
Hasan, S., Koning, R.

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.

2020
Bloom, N., Mahajan, A., McKenzie, D., Roberts, J.

Indian weaving firms are visited again nine years after a randomized experiment that changed their management practices.

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
Gertler, P., Higgins, S., Malmendier, U., Ojeda, W.

This paper tests the role of three behavioral biases: present bias, limited memory, and overconfidence about memory.

2020
Ho, D.E., Larrimore Ouellette, L.

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.

2020
Jin, Y., Sun, Z.

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.

2020
Agarwal, R., Choudhury, P., Starr, E.

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.

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
De Mel, S., McKenzie, D., Woodruff, C.

This paper discusses the development of a model contract to make self-liquidating, quasi-equity investments in microenterprises.

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
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
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
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
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.

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