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The inclusive synthetic control method

Author

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  • Stefano, Roberta di

    (Department of Methods and Models for Economics)

  • Mellace, Giovanni

    (Department of Business and Economics)

Abstract

The Synthetic Control Method (SCM) estimates the causal effect of a policy intervention in a panel data setting with only a few treated units and control units. The treated outcome in the absence of the intervention is recovered by a weighted average of the control units. The latter cannot be affected by the intervention, neither directly nor indirectly. We introduce the inclusive synthetic control method (iSCM), a novel and intuitive synthetic control modification that allows including units potentially affected directly or indirectly by an intervention in the donor pool. Our method is well suited for applications with multiple treated units where including treated units in the donor pool substantially improves the pre-intervention fit and/or for applications where some of the units in the donor pool might be affected by spillover effects. Our iSCM is very easy to implement, and any synthetic control type estimation and inference procedure can be used. Finally, as an illustrative empirical example, we re-estimate the causal effect of German reunification on GDP per capita allowing for spillover effects from West Germany to Austria.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano, Roberta di & Mellace, Giovanni, 2020. "The inclusive synthetic control method," Discussion Papers on Economics 14/2020, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2020_014
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    Cited by:

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    3. Dan S. Rickman & Hongbo Wang, 2023. "Creating and maintaining film clusters: Synthetic control method analysis of the enactment and repeal of US state film incentives," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(2), pages 363-392, April.
    4. Tello-Pacheco, Mario, 2023. "Los “spillovers” del COVID-19 sobre el empleo y el ingreso en Perú," Apuntes del Cenes, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, vol. 42(75), pages 161-195, January.
    5. Giulio Grossi & Marco Mariani & Alessandra Mattei & Patrizia Lattarulo & Ozge Oner, 2020. "Direct and spillover effects of a new tramway line on the commercial vitality of peripheral streets. A synthetic-control approach," Papers 2004.05027, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2023.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Synthetic Control Method; spillover effects; causal inference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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