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Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects

  • Sarah Baird

    ()

    (George Washington University and University of Otago)

  • J. Aislinn Bohren

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Craig McIntosh

    ()

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Berk Ozler

    ()

    (World Bank and University of Otago)

This paper formalizes the design of experiments intended specifically to study spillover effects. By first randomizing the intensity of treatment within clusters and then randomly assigning individual treatment conditional on this cluster-level intensity, a novel set of treatment effects can be identified. We develop a formal framework for consistent estimation of these effects, and provide explicit expressions for power calculations. We show that the power to detect average treatment effects declines precisely with the quantity that identifies the novel treatment effects. A demonstration of the technique is provided using a cash transfer program in Malawi.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/14-006.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 14-006.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 07 Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:14-006
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