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.

2015
Bernstein, S., Korteweg, A., Laws, K.

By randomising the information sent to potential investors on AngelList over e-mail, this experiment finds evidence that the founding team of a startup has strong influence over the investor's decision to invest.

2015
Boudreau, K., Lakhani, K.

In the context of an online software development tournament, intermediate disclosure policy increased information and signaling in
the innovation environment. Final disclosure promoted higher levels of entry and effort and independent experimentation; while it generated a diversity of approaches, this led to considerable effort devoted to suboptimal approaches and overall performance achieved.

2015
Higuchi, Y., Namb, V. H., Sonobec, T.

A randomized controlled trial of short-term management training for small manufacturers was conducted in two study sites in Vietnam and collected follow-up data repeatedly for
two years to assess longer-term impacts than the existing studies of management training.

2015
Boudreau, K., Lakhani, K.

Workers who sort into institutional settings they prefer may work twice (or many more times) as hard in these preferred settings. This productivity effect is especially important in institutional settings where a taste for competition is strongest.

2015
Fairlie, R.W., Karlan, D., Zinman, J.

Is the GATE Programme/Entrepreneurship training a valid response to various forms of market failure (allocative inefficiency in credit, labour, insurance and human capital markets)? Can such a programme have an effect on business sales, earnings or employees?

2015
Karlan, D., Brune, L., Giné, X.

The income flows of micro and small business owners in developing countries are usually quite irregular and hard to predict. Microloans by microfinance institutions (MFIs) from around the developing world generally follow very rigid repayment schedules beginning immediately after the loan disbursement. Such repayment structures are unfit to support investments in technology or other solutions to expand the business, as these generally take longer to pay off.

2015
Algan, Y., Ceci-Renaud, N., Crépon, B., Huillery, E., Parienté, W.

Youth entrepreneurship training programme in France. Results forthcoming.

2015
Hu, A., Ma. S.

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

2015
Cai, J., Szeidl, A.

While small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represent a large segment of activity and employment, there has been little research on how their growth is affected by financial constraints. Indeed, because the credit needs of SMEs are too big for microfinance products, but that they lack the collateral to borrow from the traditional banking sector, SMEs are in some way the “missing middle” of credit constraint research. This project addresses this evidence gap by evaluating the impact of a new loan product, designed specifically for SMEs, on firm growth and other market outcomes.

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.

2014
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.

2014
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.

2014
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.

2014
Beaman, L., Magruder, J., Robinson, J.

This trial focuses on micro-enterprises in Kenya which have low productivity, surveying firms weekly about lost sales.

2014
Dupas, P.

A randomised field experiment in Kenya uses differing levels of subsidies for an innovative bed net to suggest that temporary subsidies help short-term adoption rates of new (health) technologies and can perhaps have an effect on long-term adoption rates due to the learning experience.

2014
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.

2014
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.

2014
Huber, L. R., Sloof, R., van Praag, M.

This entrepreneurship education programme with final year primary school students in the Netherlands showed significant effects on student's non-cognitive entrepreneurial skills following the intervention.

2014
Chioda, L., Gertler, P.

Using an OLS regression estimator with clustered standard errors, the analysis finds that, out of the twelve outcome variables used to assess the effectiveness of the program of achieving its stated goals, they have reached their target for the outcome variables of business ownership, overall income level, community project ownership, savings behaviour and self-efficacy but not for the indicators of paidemployment prevalence, business or employment income, holding of a school leadership position, business planning, financial literacy or creativity.

2014
Cho, Y., Honorati, M.

Entrepreneurship programmes have a strong positive effect on youths, particularly on labour-market activities and business-practice outcomes, and improve business knowledge and practice, particularly for existing entrepreneurs. However, there is no evidence that this translates into improved business performance and increased income.

2014
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.

2014
Drexler, A., Fischer, G., Schoar, A.

Micro-entrepreneurs often lack the financial literacy required to make important financial decisions. We conducted a randomized evaluation with a bank in the Dominican Republic to compare the impact of two distinct programs: standard accounting training versus a simplified, rule-of-thumb training that taught basic financial heuristics. The rule-of-thumb training significantly improved firms' financial practices, objective reporting quality, and revenues.

2014
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.

2014
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.

2014
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.

2013
Bruhn, M., Zia, B.

A business and financial literacy programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina showed no effect on business survival but appeared to have some limited effects on improving participant's business practices.

2013
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.

2013
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.

2013
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.

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