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.

2016
Gallus, J.

This natural field experiment tests the effects of purely symbolic awards on volunteer retention in a public goods context. The experiment is conducted at Wikipedia, which faces declining editor retention rates, particularly among newcomers. Randomization assures that award receipt is orthogonal to previous performance. The analysis reveals that awards have a sizeable effect on newcomer retention, which persists over the four quarters following the initial intervention.

2015
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.

2015
Abebe, G., Fafchamps, M., Koelle, M., Quinn, S.

Can internship programmes provide young entrepreneurs with valuable experiential learning on successful management practices? This pilot study confirms the viability of such a programme in promoting 'learning by doing', and builds the foundation for a full-scale internship experiment beginning in 2015.

For a non-technical summary, please click here.

2015
Baltes, G., Konig, M., Ungerer, C.

Research confirms that business coaching is core to most incubation and acceleration programmes. Business coaching combines aspects of teaching, training, mentoring, and consulting and creates a general support approach for early-stage technology ventures. It has been identified as a key attribute to the impact of an early-stage venture team’s performance.

2015
Castro, L., Hallak, J.

Evaluation comparing the impact of a managerial consulting program with training on export business models in Córdoba, Argentina. Results forthcoming.

2015
Celhay, P., Gertler, P., Giovagnoli, P., Vermeersch, C.

The adoption of new clinical practice patterns by medical care providers is often challenging, even when they are believed to be both efficacious and profitable. This paper uses a randomized field experiment to examine the effects of temporary financial incentives paid to medical care clinics for the initiation of prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy. The rate of early initiation of prenatal care was 34% higher in the treatment group than in the control group while the incentives were being paid, and this effect persisted at least 24 months or more after the incentives ended.

2015
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.

2015

Organizations that depend on voluntary contributions face unique managerial challenges. In this project, we examine whether emphasizing the salience of project output (i.e., project outcome) or project input (i.e., labor costs) affect the quantity and quality of contributions using a randomized field experiment on the world's largest crowd science platform. We manipulate whether participants receive information that emphasizes their contribution to the eventual outcome of a task or information that emphasizes their contribution to the labor required for a task.

2015
Barsoum, G., Crépon, B., Dyer, P., Gardiner, D., Michel, B., Moaz, M., Parienté, W.

An encouragement design experiment involving an entrepreneurship reality tv programme and website with business training materials. Results forthcoming.

2015

Will increased exposure to the principles of effectuation accelerate novice entrepreneurs’ development of entrepreneurial expertise? What kind of pedagogical tools and methods can provide that exposure and opportunities for deliberate practice? The principles of effectuation [www.effectuation.org], a set of heuristics underlying how expert entrepreneurs make decisions during new venture creation, are increasingly being used by entrepreneurship educators, consultants and practitioners.

2015
Fischer, G., Karlan, D.

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

2015
Regele, M., Canales, R.

Why does growth stall in high-growth potential, second-stage companies, and can we intervene to overcome this? This research seeks to address why growth rates so often peter out in adolescent firms, and why so few make it to “grownup” status. The experimental trial will also seek to identify and test specific policy interventions to reinvigorate growth in these situations. The project will have three phases.

2015
Byran, G., Jakiela, P., Karlan, D.

A loan programme for SMEs in the Philippines. Results forthcoming.

2015
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.

2015
Schoar, A.

This experiment in Colombia will test the impact of a business training programme. Results forthcoming.

2015
Banal-Estañol, A., Pérez-Castrillo, D., Losa, V.

What is the impact of different types of knowledge transfer activities on the number and quality of business-science interactions? Motivated by the “European Paradox” (top-notch academic research but much weaker business-science links), this trial will test the impact of two interventions to raise awareness of academic research and connect it to businesses.

2015
Åstebro, T., Vulkan, N.

Crowdfunding is a recent and rapidly growing method of raising funds for early-stage companies. It minimises the cost and effort involved in raising start-up funds compared to traditional equity funding methods such as venture capital investment. Very little systematic, non-survey research has been conducted into these methods of funding new ventures, however. ‘The wisdom of crowds in equity crowdfunding’ aims to fill this gap.

2015
Bird, M.

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

2015
Cole, S., Schoar, A.

Microentrepreneurs in developing countries face complex financial management challenges. Many entrepreneurs do not have the financial skills to address these challenges and traditional classroom-based financial training has not been shown effective in changing behavior or improving financial outcomes. What is the most effective way to equip microentrepreneurs with the necessary skills to address their financial management challenges? Traditional financial education curricula have shown very mixed results for improving knowledge and financial practices among microentrepreneurs.

2015
Fiala, N., Carney, D., Gertler, P.

Evaluating a specific training program for youth in Uganda, recently graduated from secondary shool, aimed at identifying the differential importance of "hard" and "soft" skills. Results forthcoming.

2015
Carson, R., Graff Zivin, J., Louviere, J., Sadoff, S., Shrader Jr, J.

In order 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.

2015
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.

2015
Ganguli, I., Catalini, C.

How do different types of proximity impact collaboration and knowledge generation? How should we design research campuses to maximize the probability of breakthrough innovation taking place? Although information and communication technology has substantially lowered the cost of remote interactions, physical space and geographic proximity still play a major role in inventive activity. This project will explore how a research-intensive academic campus should be designed to increase the probability of breakthrough innovations taking place.

2015
Schoar, A., Eslava, M.

In the context of SME's in Colombia, researchers are evaluating the impact on firm performance of a legal reform which will provide a framework for the use and enforcement of movable collateral. Results forthcoming.

2015
McKenzie, D., Maloney, W., Iacovone, L.

Examines the differential impacts of group management consulting versus individualised management consulting on firm performace in Colombia, and whether management practices are partially responsible for the gap in firm productivity in developing countries. Results forthcoming.

2015
Kuhn, J.M., Thompson, N.

Competition between firms to invent and patent an idea, or “patent racing,” has been much discussed in theory, but seldom analyzed empirically. This article introduces an empirical way to identify patent races, and provides the first broad-based view of them in the real world. It reveals that patent races are common, particularly in information-technology fields. The analysis is then extended to get the causal impact of winning a patent race, using a regression-discontinuity approach.

2015
Nathan, M., Overman, H., Olmo, S.

Working with one of the largest tech incubators in the UK, this trial will deploy a multi-site RCT in two different cities. After pre-selection, entry into the incubator will be randomised for 100 firms per site. The experiment will then explore post-treatment outcomes including survival, recombination, and changes in post-treatment revenue, employment and level of external finance raised.
Using interviews and surveys we will also explore whether different parts of the treatment vary in their effectiveness (e.g. mentoring versus peer to peer interactions). 

2015
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.

2015
Kesavan, S., Rout, S.

This RCT will pilot Self-Accelerated Startups (SAS), a new peer-selection based entrepreneurship support model for idea-stage companies and student startups that uses collective bootstrapping on the lines of self-help groups in the social sector. In this model, prospective entrepreneurs meet regularly in groups for a pre-defined mentorship period and make small monthly contributions to a “seed fund”. At the end of this phase, the self-mobilized corpus is awarded as startup capital to one or two members by the rest of the peer group in return for equity in these startups.

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