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.

2022
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.

2022
Anderson, S. J., McKenzie, D.

. A randomized experiment is conducted a in Nigeria to test the relative effectiveness of these different approaches in improving business practices.

2022
Espinosa, M., Stanton, C.

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.

2022

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.

2022
Fairlie, R., Turner, P.

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.

2021
Barsoum, G., Crépon, B., Gardiner, D., Michel, B., Parienté, W.

This trial measures the impact of an edutainment program specifically designed to promote entrepreneurship among young adult viewers in Egypt.

2021
Cusolito, A.P., McKenzie, D.

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.

2021
Janes, L., Koelle, M., Quinn, S.

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.

2021
Chioda, L., Contreras-Loya, D., Gertler, P., Carney, D.

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.

2021
Novelli , E., Spina, C.

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?

2021
Camuffo, A., Gambardella, A., Messinese, D., Novelli, E., Paolucci, E., Spina, C.

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.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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
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
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
Camuffo, A., Cordova, A., Gambardella, A., Spina, C.

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.

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
Dammert, A. C., Nansamba, A.

This paper explores whether skills training in business performance and customer practices was a promising way to increase business outcomes among self-employed workers who operate small businesses in developing countries.

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
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.

2018
Brooks, W., Donovan, K., Johnson, T., R.

We use a randomized controlled trial to demonstrate that inexperienced female microenterprise owners in a Kenyan slum benefit from mentorship by an experienced entrepreneur in the same community. Mentorship increases profits by 20 percent on average with initially large effects that fade as matches dissolve. We conduct a formal business education intervention, which has no effect on profits despite changes in business practice.

2018
Dalton, P., Zia, B., Rüschenpöhler, J., Uras, B.

This paper studies whether small-scale businesses can learn and adopt protable practices of their successful peers. We identify such practices through a detailed business survey in urban Indonesia and disseminate the information to a randomly selected sample of small retailers through a professionally developed handbook. An orthogonal subgroup is provided additional support through business role models, and another through individualized business counseling. We find a significant increase in the adoption of profitable practices in all sub-groups of retailers.

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