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.

2016
Boudreau, K., Guinan, E., Lakhani, K., Riedl, C.

This paper focuses on the evaluation of frontier scientific research projects and argues that the intellectual distance between the knowledge embodied in research proposals and an evaluator's own expertise systematically relates to the evaluations given.

2016
Schaner, S.

I use a field experiment in rural Kenya to study how temporary incentives to save impact long run economic outcomes. Study participants randomly selected to receive large temporary interest rates on an individual bank account had significantly more income and assets 2.5 years after the interest rates expired. These changes are much larger than the short-run impacts on experimental bank account use and almost entirely driven by growth in entrepreneurship.

2016
Gallus, J.

This natural field experiment tests the effects of purely symbolic awards on volunteer retention in a public goods context. The experiment is conducted at Wikipedia, which faces declining editor retention rates, particularly among newcomers. Randomization assures that award receipt is orthogonal to previous performance. The analysis reveals that awards have a sizeable effect on newcomer retention, which persists over the four quarters following the initial intervention.

2016
Boudreau, K., Lakhani, K., Menietti, M.

In the context of online developer tournaments this study found that added rivalry is likely to induce higher performance given that failing to exert effort will reduce the likelihood of winning a prize. Tournament organizers can leverage contest size, dividing competitors by ability, and opening entry to all, as policy tools to manipulate the performance of competitors, particularly when changes allow the reallocation of prize money.

2016
Field, E., Jayachandran, S., Pande, R., Rigol, N.

Women may face more constraints than men to becoming entrepreneurs, but are not poor entrepreneurs. A potentially important factor limiting financial inclusion efforts is inadequate peer support among many women who have potential as entrepreneurs.

2016
Bulte, E., Lensink, R., Vu, N.

This trial evaluates the impact of a business training for female clients of a microfinance institution in northern Vietnam, and considers the impact on business knowledge, practices, and outcomes, as well as firm entry and exit decisions.

2016
Åstebro, T., Hoos, F.

We use two sequential RCTs to study the impact of a twice-executed six-month intensive training program costing about 12,000 euros per participant to encourage social entrepreneurship among youth. The first year training effort provided no robust treatment effects. Results were used to redesign and improve the training. The second year effort provided treatment effects on venture actions, venture creation, one leadership characteristic, one non-cognitive skill, and on subsequent work experience in startups.

2016
Bradler, C., Dur, R., Neckermann, S., and Non, A.

In the context of a basic, short-term data entry job, unannounced provision of public recognition to employees yielded an economically significant increase in performance. Results suggest that recognition works best when it is provided exclusively, but not too exclusively. The performance increases in exclusive recognition are mainly driven by strong positive responses of non-recipients, which is most likely due to conformity preferences.

2015
Rosendahl Huber, L.

This study reports on a randomized field experiment conducted in the Netherlands to estimate the (long-term) effect of a short personalized tax training program on the performance and tax compliance of first-time entrepreneurs. The tax training was expected to have an impact on business performance and different aspects of tax compliance through better financial decision making and more relevant tax knowledge.

2015
Schoar, A., Eslava, M.

In the context of SME's in Colombia, researchers are evaluating the impact on firm performance of a legal reform which will provide a framework for the use and enforcement of movable collateral. Results forthcoming.

2015
Phipps, J., Watkins, G., Johnson, A., Khan, K.

The Growth Impact Pilot, launched in April 2014, is a research project on the impact of business advice (coaching), supported by the UK Government. The Growth Impact Pilot will assess whether the provision of Growth Accelerator coaching is the reason why firms on the service achieve high rates of growth, or whether this growth would have happened anyway. It is designed to assess the impact of coaching by comparing two groups:

2015
Oswald, A. J., Proto, E., Sgroi, D.

Some firms say they care about the well-being and “happiness” of their employees. But are such claims hype or scientific good sense? We provide evidence, for a classic piece rate setting, that happiness makes people more productive. In three different styles of experiment, randomly selected individuals are made happier. The treated individuals have approximately 12% greater productivity. A fourth experiment studies major real-world shocks ðbereavement and family illnessÞ. Lower happiness is systematically associated with lower productivity.

2015
Iacovone, L., Mckenzie, D.

Micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries are often constraint by inefficient supply chains, facing high travel costs and high prices in purchasing their inventory. At the same time, due to their small scale, they buy in small quantities, limiting their benefit from economies of scale, whether in bulk discounts or transport efficiencies. Small-scale food vendors in Bogotá, whose customers are residents of low-income neighborhoods, face these very issues.

2015
Iacovone, L.

Programs targeting micro businesses have become increasingly common in developing countries, particularly because micro enterprises employ a substantial fraction of individuals in these economies (about 47 percent in Mexico) and because the majority of these micro enterprises tend to stay small and have low productivity Many programs aimed at fostering the growth of micro and small businesses have focused on providing credits or offering business and financial training, since access to credit and lack of managerial skills are believed to limit the success of this type of businesses (Bruhn e

2015
Hu, A., Ma. S.

This paper examines the persuasiveness of delivery in start-up pitches.

2015
Menzel, A.

Examines the effectiveness of a specific management production routine relying on knowledge transfer of managers in a Bangladeshi garment factory. Results forthcoming.

2015
Rahman, A.

Firms may face short term barriers when deciding to become exporters. Their production costs may be too high to compete with international prices, or they may perceive quality standard testing to be too risky of an investment. At the same time, the Tunisian government is keen to see more firms become exporters, tapping into international markets for further growth. The government wishes to see its firms produce higher value-added goods.

2015
Adhvaryu, A., Nyshadham, A.

We propose to implement and evaluate a soft-skills training program among mid- and upper-level managers in textile factories in India. The goal of the intervention and evaluation is to investigate constraints to firm performance due to managerial human capital, and to contribute to the understanding of how improved management can translate into better working conditions for workers. We will evaluate this program through a multi-step randomized controlled trial in 41 factories operated by a large textile firm based in Bangalore, India.

2015
Thompson, N., Khairullina, A., Tucci C.

This on-going project explores how much market protection patents provide. This is being tested in a randomized control trial, where a partner company is abandoning or maintaining patent protection based on whether that patent is in the treatment or control group. We are then analyzing market outcomes for the related products.

2015
Bloom, N., Liang, J., Roberts, J., Ying, Z.J.

An intervention that allowed randomly selected employees in a Chinese travel agency call centre to work from home appeared to have significant positive effects on worker performance.

2015
Llamas, S.

The Good Exporting Practices program in Argentina aims to increase the success in the foreign markets of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through supporting better practices in 7 core areas: i) strategy, ii) identification and segmentation of markets, iii) design and adaptation of the product, iv) production, v) communication, vi) distribution, and vii) administration. The Good Exporting Practices program targets firms that produce differentiated food products in various geographical regions in Argentina.

2015
Valdivia, M.

With millions of women around the developing world thrown into self-employment but with low productivity, increasing the profitability of their businesses is highly relevant for poverty reduction and gender equity.

2015
Boudreau, K., Lakhani, K.

Workers who sort into institutional settings they prefer may work twice (or many more times) as hard in these preferred settings. This productivity effect is especially important in institutional settings where a taste for competition is strongest.

2015
Bernstein, S., Korteweg, A., Laws, K.

By randomising the information sent to potential investors on AngelList over e-mail, this experiment finds evidence that the founding team of a startup has strong influence over the investor's decision to invest.

2015
Karlan, D., Brune, L., Giné, X.

The income flows of micro and small business owners in developing countries are usually quite irregular and hard to predict. Microloans by microfinance institutions (MFIs) from around the developing world generally follow very rigid repayment schedules beginning immediately after the loan disbursement. Such repayment structures are unfit to support investments in technology or other solutions to expand the business, as these generally take longer to pay off.

2015
Boudreau, K., Lakhani, K.

In the context of an online software development tournament, intermediate disclosure policy increased information and signaling in
the innovation environment. Final disclosure promoted higher levels of entry and effort and independent experimentation; while it generated a diversity of approaches, this led to considerable effort devoted to suboptimal approaches and overall performance achieved.

2015
Karlan, D., Knight, R., Udry, C.

A randomized trial was conducted in urban Ghana in which tailoring microenterprises received advice from an international consulting firm, cash, both, or neither.

2015
Fairlie, R.W., Karlan, D., Zinman, J.

Is the GATE Programme/Entrepreneurship training a valid response to various forms of market failure (allocative inefficiency in credit, labour, insurance and human capital markets)? Can such a programme have an effect on business sales, earnings or employees?

2015
Cai, J., Szeidl, A.

While small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent a large segment of activity and employment, there has been little research on how their growth is affected by financial constraints. Indeed, because the credit needs of SMEs are too big for microfinance products, but that they lack the collateral to borrow from the traditional banking sector, SMEs are in some way the “missing middle” of credit constraint research. This project addresses this evidence gap by evaluating the impact of a new loan product, designed specifically for SMEs, on firm growth and other market outcomes.

2015
Abebe, G., Fafchamps, M., Koelle, M., Quinn, S.

Can internship programmes provide young entrepreneurs with valuable experiential learning on successful management practices? This pilot study confirms the viability of such a programme in promoting 'learning by doing', and builds the foundation for a full-scale internship experiment beginning in 2015.

For a non-technical summary, please click here.

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