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A Framework for Separating Individual Treatment Effects from Spillover, Interaction, and General Equilibrium Effects

Listed author(s):
  • Huber, Martin

    ()

    (University of Fribourg)

  • Steinmayr, Andreas

    ()

    (University of Munich)

This paper suggests a causal framework for disentangling individual level treatment effects and interference effects, i.e., general equilibrium, spillover, or interaction effects related to treatment distribution. Thus, the framework allows for a relaxation of the Stable Unit Treatment Value Assumption (SUTVA), which assumes away any form of treatment-dependent interference between study participants. Instead, we permit interference effects within aggregate units, for example, regions or local labor markets, but need to rule out interference effects between these aggregate units. Borrowing notation from the causal mediation literature, we define a range of policy-relevant effects and formally discuss identification based on randomization, selection on observables, and difference-in-differences. We also present an application to a policy intervention extending unemployment benefit durations in selected regions of Austria that arguably affected ineligibles in treated regions through general equilibrium effects in local labor markets.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10648.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10648
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  1. Bruno Crépon & Esther Duflo & Marc Gurgand & Roland Rathelot & Philippe Zamora, 2013. "Do Labor Market Policies have Displacement Effects? Evidence from a Clustered Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 531-580.
  2. Martin Huber, 2014. "Identifying Causal Mechanisms (Primarily) Based On Inverse Probability Weighting," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(6), pages 920-943, 09.
  3. Flores, Carlos A. & Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso, 2009. "Identification and Estimation of Causal Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment under Unconfoundedness," IZA Discussion Papers 4237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, 07.
  5. Marc FERRACCI & Grégory JOLIVET & Gerard J van den Berg, 2009. "“Treatment Evaluation in the Case of Interaction Within Markets”," Working Papers 2009-22, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Frederico Finan, 2009. "Neighborhood Peer Effects in Secondary School Enrollment Decisions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 695-716, November.
  7. Abadie, Alberto, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variable estimation of treatment response models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 231-263, April.
  8. Frölich, Markus & Huber, Martin, 2014. "Direct and Indirect Treatment Effects: Causal Chains and Mediation Analysis with Instrumental Variables," IZA Discussion Papers 8280, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  10. VanderWeele, Tyler J., 2008. "Simple relations between principal stratification and direct and indirect effects," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(17), pages 2957-2962, December.
  11. Bryan S. Graham & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2010. "Measuring the Effects of Segregation in the Presence of Social Spillovers: A Nonparametric Approach," NBER Working Papers 16499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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