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
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
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
Cole, S., Joshi, M., 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
Karlan, D., Knight, R., Udry, C.

A randomized trial was conducted in urban Ghana in which tailoring microenterprises received advice from an international consulting firm, cash, both, or neither.

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
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
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
Schoar, A.

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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

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
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.

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
Paravisini, D. & Schoar, A.

This experiment provides direct evidence on how information technologies can lead to the decentralisation of decision-making processes within organisations, and how IT solutions may represent an effective and low-cost alternative to steepening or increasing monetary incentives. Providing credit scores increased the effort committees put into solving more difficult problems, increased committees' overall output, and reduced the need for higher-level manager involvement in the decision-making process.

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.

2013
Hoogendoorn S. , Oosterbeek, H., van Praag M.

This paper reports about a field experiment conducted to estimate the impact of the share of women in business teams on their performance. Teams consisting of undergraduate students in business studies start up a venture as part of their curriculum.

2013
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.

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