The study investigates the role of information constraints and behavioral biases in the under-adoption of key business practices by micro-enterprises in Brazil. We combine a randomized control trial with online surveys to study these questions.
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.
We study the allocation and productivity consequences of managerial training via a randomized controlled trial among supervisors in a large ready-made garment firm. We designed a program using practices identified as productive in Adhvaryu et al. (2022c), and asked factory and floor managers (FFMs) – who are directly above supervisors in the hierarchy – to recommend which of the supervisors they manage should be prioritized for training. We then randomized access to the program within these recommendation rankings.
. A randomized experiment is conducted a in Nigeria to test the relative effectiveness of these different approaches in improving business practices.
This study analyses a field experiment conducted on AngelList Talent, a large online search platform for startup jobs.
We examine the influence of physical proximity on between-startup knowledge spillovers at one of the largest technology co-working hubs in the United States. Relying on the random assignment of office space to the hub's 251 startups, we find that proximity positively influences knowledge spillovers as proxied by the likelihood of adopting an upstream web technology already used by a peer startup.
We seek to understand what is limiting women's access to finance, in particular for highly skilled start-up entrepreneurs. To investigate supply side constraints, we run a lab-in-the-field experiment in which loan officers in Uganda evaluate several business ideas based on real pitch decks from start-ups. We separate biases in idea evaluation from other constraints (such as gender specific differences in the ability to implement a project, or in external constraints that start-up entrepreneurs are facing).
This impact evaluation aims to measure the effect of a program that combines business training, mentoring, and a large cash transfer on high-potential small and medium businesses in Chile. 250 out of the top 500 firms participating in a business plan competition will be randomly selected to receive all three components of the program, while the remaining firms will receive none of them.
Differences in management quality are an important contributor to productivity differences across countries. A key question is then how to best improve poor management in developing countries. We test two different approaches to improving management in Colombian auto parts firms. The first uses intensive and expensive one-on-one consulting, while the second draws on agricultural extension approaches to provide consulting to small groups of firms at approximately one-third of the cost of the individual approach.
We study the demand for government participation in China’s venture capital and private equity market. We conduct a large-scale, non-deceptive field experiment in collaboration with the leading industry service provider, through which we survey both sides of the market: the capital investors and the private firms managing the invested capital by deploying it to high-growth entrepreneurs. Our respondents together account for nearly $1 trillion in assets under management.
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.
We study direct productivity changes and spillovers after a randomized training program for the frontline workers in a Colombian government agency. While trained workers improved their individual production, we also find substantial spillovers that affected managers' productivity. We use email data and a survey to explore the mechanisms behind these spillovers and find that managers' increased output arises from reductions in the need to help lower level employees.
Resource allocation decisions play a dominant role in shaping a firm’s technological trajectory and competitive advantage. Recent work indicates that innovative firms and scientific institutions tend to exhibit an anti-novelty bias when evaluating new projects and ideas. In this paper, we focus on shedding light into this observed pattern by examining how evaluator expertise in the problem’s focal domain shapes the relationship between novelty and feasibility in evaluations of quality for technical solutions.
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.
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.
Women are underrepresented as inventors on U.S. patents (Toole et al. 2019, Toole et al. 2020). Although the gender gap is closing over time, it is not closing quickly. This suggests that there is a role for policy to help reduce invention and commercialization barriers for women. However, the potential effectiveness of policies to address this issue are unclear, primarily because the underlying causes of the gender gap are complex and not well understood. Recent research has begun to cast light on this issue (Whittington 2005; Ding et al. 2006; Murray and Graham 2007; Colyvas et al.
By enabling smaller loans, broader geographic reach, and less human bias in decision-making, process automation may reduce racial disparities in access to financial services. We find evidence for all three channels in a setting where private lenders faced no credit risk but decided who to serve: the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided loans to small businesses during COVID-19. Black-owned firms disproportionately obtained their PPP loans from fintech lenders, especially in areas with high racial animus.
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.
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.
This paper tests whether providing more information on business practices can lead firms to seek out advice and improve their practices. The authors collaborated with a business advice provider in Brazil to implement a randomized experiment with 866 small firms. The treatment groups received different versions of an information sheet that benchmarked business practices to other firms and listed five practices to improve.
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.