This randomised experiment tested the impact of exogenously inducing higher financial aspirations among poor entrepreneurs.
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.
The gender financing gap persists. Women-led startups raise significantly less capital than startups led by only men. That number has hardly budged over the past decade — despite the fact that data continues to suggest that women-led startups outperform startups with all-men founding teams.For investors, focusing on only a fraction of all entrepreneurs means they leave significant opportunities for returns on the table. For startups, this gender financing gap means promising innovations do not receive the resources they need to scale.
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.
This project evaluated the impact of a program aiming to improve the workplace climate in corporations.
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.
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.
This project aims to understand the determinants of adoption of a new technology by firms in Bangladesh's leather goods and footwear industry.
In this study, we empirically examine the effect of sharing information with close or distant competitors as part of an incubation program. There is recent evidence of substantial heterogeneity in acceleration programs, with qualitative research highlighting that the main benefit for participants to these programs is the increased exposure to information and the feedback they obtain. Such exposure helps balance the bounded rationality of founders.
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.
Indian weaving firms are visited again nine years after a randomized experiment that changed their management practices.
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 tests the role of three behavioral biases: present bias, limited memory, and overconfidence about memory.
Many have advocated for the expansion of peer review to improve scientific judgments in law and public policy. One such test case is the patent examination process, with numerous commentators arguing that scientific peer review can solve informational deficits in patent determinations. We present results from a novel randomized ﬁeld experiment, carried out over the course of three years, in which 336 prominent scientific experts agreed to provide input on U.S. patent applications. Their input was edited for compliance with submission requirements and submitted to the U.S.
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.
The use of machine learning (ML) for productivity in the knowledge economy requires considerations of important biases that may arise from ML predictions. We define a new source of bias related to incompleteness in real time inputs, which may result from strategic behavior by agents. We theorize that domain expertise of users can complement ML by mitigating this bias. Our observational and experimental analyses in the patent examination context support this conjecture.
This study builds on the assumption that the common experiential design of entrepreneurship education stimulates entrepreneurial learning via social interaction with peers. The analysis focuses on gendered peer effects at the pre-nascent stage of the entrepreneurial process and on the role of team emotional intelligence in the context of entrepreneurship education.
This paper compares how two common incentive schemes affect innovative performance in a field experiment run in partnership with a large life sciences company.
This trial investigates whether excessively optimistic beliefs may play a role in the persistent demand for doctoral and post-doctoral training in science.
We investigate how knowledge similarity between two individuals is systematically related to the likelihood that a serendipitous encounter results in knowledge production. We conduct a field experiment at a medical research symposium, where we exogenously varied opportunities for face-to-face encounters among 15,817 scientist-pairs. Our data include direct observations of interaction patterns collected using sociometric badges, and detailed, longitudinal data of the scientists' postsymposium publication records over 6 years.
Using survey and register data, this experiment estimates the effects of the information treatment brochure on awareness of WeGebAU, on take-up of WeGebAU and other training, and on subsequent employment.
Despite the widespread popularity of entrepreneurship education, there is thin evidence on its effectiveness in improving employment outcomes over the medium to long-term. A potential time lag between entrepreneurial intentions and actions is sometimes presented as a reason why employment impacts are rarely observed. Based on a randomized control trial among university students in Tunisia, this paper studies the medium-term impacts of entrepreneurship education four years after students’ graduation.
This trial proposes to evaluate a model for scaling up affordable access to effective STEM education through national online education platforms.
Innovative firms with good ideas may still struggle to fine-tune them to the stage where they can attract outside funding. We conduct a five-country randomized experiment that tests the impact of an investment readiness program. Firms then pitched their ideas to independent judges. The program resulted in a 0.3 standard deviation increase in the investment readiness score. Two years later, the average impacts on firm investment outcomes are positive, but small in magnitude, and not statistically significant.
This paper hypothesizes that many productive firms in poor countries stagnate due to informational barriers to winning wholesale contracts.
Entrepreneurial motivation is important to the process of economic growth. However, evidence on the motivations of innovative entrepreneurs, and how those motivations differ across fundamental characteristics, remains scant. We conduct three interrelated field experiments with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Inclusive Innovation Challenge to study how innovative entrepreneurs respond to messages of money and social impact and how this varies across gender and culture.
Cavendish Enterprise's Business Boost trial project involved providing young small firms - typically micro-businesses - with a treatment involving a series of workshops designed to enhance productivity. This was provided largely as a top-up to an advice and mentoring programme called 'Start and Grow'. The project was part of the government's Business Basics Programme which has the core aim of identifying cost effective, yet productivity enhancing, programmes of business support for SMEs which can be run at scale throughout the country.
This paper explores what might motivate employees to participate in internal crowdsourcing, a peer-based approach to innovation.