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.

Calder-Wang, S., Gompers, P., Huang, K.

This paper studies the role of diversity and performance in the entrepreneurial teams.

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.

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.

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.


This paper discusses implementing a lab-in-the-field experiment with 334 Turkish loan officers to test for the presence, and learn about the mechanisms, of gender discrimination in small business lending.

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.

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.

Gornall, W., and I. A. Strebulaev

We study gender and race in high-impact entrepreneurship within a tightly controlled random field experiment. We sent out 80,000 pitch emails introducing promising but fictitious start-ups to 28,000 venture capitalists and business angels. Each email was sent by a fictitious entrepreneur with a randomly selected gender (male or female) and race (Asian or White). Female entrepreneurs received an 8% higher rate of interested replies than male entrepreneurs pitching identical projects. Asian entrepreneurs received a 6% higher rate than White entrepreneurs.

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.

Bechthold, L., Rosendahl Huber, L.

This study draws on social learning theory and research concerning role model effects to understand how exposure to female entrepreneurial role models influences the development of entrepreneurial self-efficacy, attitudes and intentions among female students. We present results from a field experiment including data from 547 students and 98 entrepreneurs.

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.

McKenzie, D., Paruzzolo, S.

A 5-day enterprise training programme for women in Kenya. Results forthcoming.

Brudevold-Newman, A., Honorati, M., Jakiela, P., Ozier, O.

This study presents results from a randomized evaluation of two labor market interventions targeted to young women aged 18 to 19 years in three of Nairobi's poorest neighborhoods. One treatment offered participants a bundled intervention designed to simultaneously relieve credit and human capital constraints; a second treatment provided women with an unrestricted cash grant, but no training or other support.

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.

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.

Hu, A., Ma. S.

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

Gertler, P.

This study aims to carry out an evaluation of the long-term impacts of an innovative school-based intervention designed to enhance the ability of youth to engage and succeed in both formal employment and entrepreneurial activities in Uganda, ultimately leading to improvements in livelihood. The findings will inform future interventions (in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya) to help more young people overcome obstacles to successful entrepreneurship and labor market participation, such as gender-related barriers, thereby improving their livelihoods and socioeconomic security.

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

Duflo, E., Crepon, B., Huillery, E., Pariente, W.

Creajeunes offers support to young people from poorer neighbourhoods to get them involved in entrepreneurship. Results forthcoming.

Algan, Y., Ceci-Renaud, N., Crépon, B., Huillery, E., Parienté, W.

Youth entrepreneurship training programme in France. Results forthcoming.

Ganguli, I., Huysentruyt, M., Le Coq, C.

We conducted a field experiment to identify the causal effects of extrinsic incentive cues on the sorting and performance of nascent social entrepreneurs. The experiment, carried out with one of the United Kingdom’s largest support agencies for social entrepreneurs, encouraged 431 nascent social entrepreneurs to submit a full application for a grant competition that provides cash and in-kind mentorship support through a onetime mailing sent by the agency.

Chliova, M, Brinckmanna, J., Rosenbusch, N.

In this meta-analysis what particularly stands out is the effect of microcredit on female empowerment. With respect to entrepreneurship and economic development outcomes, microcredit appears to have the most value in deprived contexts, but overall, results are highly dependent on context.

Crépon, B., Duflo, E., Huillery, E., Pariente, W., Seban, J.

The Paris School of Economics proposed a project to the Haut-Commissariat aux Solidarités Actives (French Minister for Active Solidarity against Poverty) to evaluate the impact of one of Adie’s programs, CréaJeunes. The “Association pour le droit à l’initiative économique” (Adie), is an NGO that aids people in creating their own business. The program is designed to encourage and support young people employment and entrepreneurship, particularly in poorer neighborhoods.

Niederle, M., Segal, C., Vesterlund, L.

In the context of a lab experiment replicating the job/hiring market, this study reveals that prior to affirmative action, women, including high-performing women, fail to enter the competition, thus the actual performance costs of affirmitive action are negligible. This implies that the long-term effects are positive, as increasing the representation of "minorities" may improve mentoring possibilities, and change the perception of "minorities'" ability to hold a high-ranking position.

Dupas, P., Robinson, J.

Does limited access to formal savings services impede business growth in poor countries? To shed light on this question, we randomized access to noninterest-bearing bank accounts among two types of self-employed individuals in rural Kenya: market vendors (who are mostly women) and men working as bicycle taxi drivers. Despite large withdrawal fees, a substantial share of market women used the accounts, were able to save more, and increased their productive investment and private expenditures. We see no impact for bicycle taxi drivers.

Karlan, D., Valdivia, M.

Most academic and development policy discussions about microentrepreneurs focus on credit constraints and assume that subject to those constraints, the entrepreneurs manage their business optimally. Yet the self-employed poor rarely have any formal training in business skills. A growing number of microfinance organizations are attempting to build the human capital of microentrepreneurs in order to improve the livelihood of their clients and help further their mission of poverty alleviation.

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.

Niederle, M., Vesterlund, L.

This experiment, replicating the selection environment of competitive jobs, suggests that the gender gap could be due in part to men's overconfidence, and men's preferences for performing in competition. Further implications include that a surplus of low-performing men may too often self-select into these jobs while too many high-performing women do not.