Design and Analysis of Experiments in Multi-Level Populations
Posted: 15 May 2009
Date Written: May 14, 2009
Randomized field experiments are often conducted within a multi-level setting. These settings can be defined both at the level at which the randomization occurs as well as at the level at which the treatment is both directly and indirectly administered. These indirect effects most often occur as a result of social transmission of the treatment, which is particularly likely when the treatment consists of information. This essay will explore the implications of these multi-level settings to highlight the importance of careful experimental design with respect to random assignment of the population and the implementation of the treatment. There are potential problems with analysis in this context and this essay suggests strategies to accommodate multi-level settings.
Keywords: Randomized experiments, social networks
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