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.

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:

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

Sanders, M.

Small businesses that seek and obtain strategic business advice are more likely to thrive and grow. Advice can increase productivity, drive sales and improve the chance of survival in tough economic times. Yet as many as three in every ten small businesses in the UK may have an unmet need for business advice . And to date, available evidence does not establish a causal link between business advice and higher growth for small businesses.

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.

Fischer, G., Karlan, D.

A business skills training intervention for SME owners and managers in metro Manila, the Philippines. Results forthcoming.

Bird, M.

An online platform for contract enforcement in the Peruvian textile sector. Results forthcoming.

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.

Macchiavello, R., Woodruff, C.., Akerlof, R.

Evaluation of a training and consulting program for managerial staff in Bangladeshi garment factories to understand how new management practices are adopted and implemented and what determines their success.

Kaur, S., Kremer, M., Mullainathan, S.

Self-control problems change the logic of agency theory by partly aligning the interests of the firm and worker: both now value contracts that elicit future effort. Findings from a year-long field experiment with full-time data entry workers support this idea. First, workers increase output by voluntarily choosing dominated contracts (which penalize low output but give no additional rewards for high output). Second, effort increases closer to (randomly assigned) paydays.

Georgiadis, A., Pitelis, C.

We investigate the relationship between employees' and managers' training and firm performance using a policy intervention that randomly assigned training support to small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises in the UK accommodation and food service sector. Because the number of firms self‐selected into training exceeded available places, training was randomly assigned to some firms, resulting in a randomized natural experimental design that allowed us to identify the average effect of training on treated firms.

Haines, H.

This paper explores the effectiveness of goal setting and accountability within group-based entrepreneurship initiatives in creating human capital. The study uses a randomized cluster trial to compare the experimental and control groups of entrepreneurs. The results suggest that frequent goal setting and accountability in group settings provides a greater number of learning experiences and human capital development opportunities available to entrepreneurs than those that did not engage in the same level of goal setting.

Levitt, S., and Neckermann, S.

This meta-analysis of field experimental evidence on firm-employee relationships finds strong evidence that financial incentive increase output, and that non-financial approaches and social relations also have important impacts. However, many important topics have not been studied yet using field experiments, including recruiting, worker promotion, and training.

Anderson-Macdonald, S., Chandy, R., Zia, B.

A programme offering marketing and sales training, and finance and accounting training in Cape Town, South Africa, was found to significantly improve firm survival as compared with the control group.

Bareket-Bojmel, L., Hochman, G., Ariely, D.

In the context of a semiconductor factory in Israel, experimenting with different types of incentives yielded results that provide some guidance for organisations trying to motivate their employees, showing that incentives of small magnitude can motivate employees to perform better at low or insignificant cost. Also, simply allowing employees to choose their preferred form of incentive can neutralize the possible negative effect of cash bonuses on intrinsic motivation.

Knight, A., Baer M.

Interpersonal effects of physical space indirectly affect performance for group engaged in knowledge work. Physical space shapes performance indirectly by affecting group members' arousal and territorial behaviour, which together influence information elaboration. The physical context in which a group works can shape interpersonal dynamics and ultimately group performance.

Glaub, M., Frese, M., Fischer, S., Hoppe, M.

This particular management training was successful at improving knowledge and intangible skills that translated into successful organisational medium- to long-run outcomes for small businesses.

Shue, K.

Using the historical random assignment of MBA students to sections at Harvard Business School (HBS), I explore how executive peer networks can affect managerial decision making. Within an HBS class, firm outcomes are significantly more similar among graduates from the same section than among graduates from different sections, with the strongest effects in executive compensation and acquisitions strategy. I demonstrate the role of ongoing social interactions by showing that peer effects are more than twice as strong in the year following staggered alumni reunions.

Bruhn, M., Karlan, D., Schoar A.

A management consultancy intervention in Mexico, focusing on firm growth, showed a positive impact on firm productivity in the short term and amount of employees (and overall wage bill) in the long term, as compared with the control group.

Bloom, N., Eifert B., Mahajan, A., McKenzie, D., Roberts J.

This management-focused consultancy intervention in the Indian textile industry showed positive impact on overall firm productivity through improved quality, efficiency and reduced inventory, and the effects of the experiment appeared to continue over time.

Sonobe, T., Suzuki, A., Otsuka, K., Nam Vu, H.

In the context of knitwear and rolled steel clusters in Vietnam, preliminary short-run impacts of KAIZEN production training reveal positive impacts on entrepreneurs' management knowledge, firms business practices, and willingness-to-pay for the training. Researchers will evaluate the long-run results including a cost-benefit analysis.

Cadena, X., Schoar, A., Cristea, A., Delgado-Medrano, H.M.

In the context of a commercial lending bank in Colombia, a behaviourally-sensitive incentive scheme led to significantly positive effects on performance and worker well-being, and results suggest that incentives alone were not sufficient to help overcome prior performance and worker well-being issues.

Dohmen, T., Armin, F.

In this lab experiment intended to recreate sorting into jobs and productivity in those jobs within the labour market, there is stong evidence of multidimensional sorting, including gender, risk attitudes, and productivity. Therefore, firms should consider both effort effects and the self-selection of different types of workers.

Valdivia, M.

In the context urban Sri Lanka the challenge in getting female-owned, subsistence-level microenterprises to grow may lie outside the realm of capital and skills. Results of the training and capital access intervention are somewhat more encouraging in terms of helping women who are outside the labour force to start enterprises more quickly.

Bandiera, O., Barankay, I., Rasul, I.

In the context of a fruit producer in the UK, social connections increase productivity of connected workers, but their effect on the allocation of managerial effort hinders firm productivity under fixed wages. Thus managerial behaviour is shaped by both social connections with subordinates and monetary incentives. In this setting, it is in the firm's best interest to foster social ties between management and workers, but to introduce monetary incentives to achieve an efficient interplay between social relationships and incentives.

Bandiera, O., Barankay, I., and Rasul, I.

In the context of a fruit producer in the UK, the introduction of managerial incentives provides evidence of positive effects on worker productivity. In this context, when managers' pay is linked to the firm's performance, their interests become more aligned with those of the firm, which ultimately translates into stronger alignment of incentives of the workers they manage since the managers can target their efforts to specific workers. This also sheds some light on how managerial incentives determine earnings inequality among workers.

Nagin, D., Rebitzer, J., Sanders, S., Taylor, L.

In the context of a call centre, behavioural heterogeneity observed through employees shirking when reduced monitoring is introduced has important implications for the design and management of reward systems. Management needs to balance monitoring strategies needed to regulate opportunistic employees with strategies needed to sustain the motivation of the substantial fraction of employees disinclined to shirk.

Camerer, C. and Lovallo, D.

In the context of a lab experiment intended to mimick market entry decisions, overconfidence leads to the neglect of the quality of competition. When post-entry payoffs are based on individual abilities, individuals tend to overestimate their chances of relative success and enter more frequently. Surprisingly, overconfidence is even stronger when individuals' self-select into the experimental sessions knowing their success will depend partly on their skill.