Identification of Treatment Response with Social Interactions

23 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013

See all articles by Charles F. Manski

Charles F. Manski

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 2013


This paper studies identification of potential outcome distributions when treatment response may have social interactions. Defining a person's treatment response to be a function of the entire vector of treatments received by the population, I study identification when non‐parametric shape restrictions and distributional assumptions are placed on response functions. An early key result is that the traditional assumption of individualistic treatment response is a polar case within the broad class of constant treatment response (CTR) assumptions, the other pole being unrestricted interactions. Important non‐polar cases are interactions within reference groups and anonymous interactions. I first study identification under Assumption CTR alone. I then strengthen this Assumption to semi‐monotone response. I next discuss derivation of these assumptions from models of endogenous interactions. Finally, I combine Assumption CTR with statistical independence of potential outcomes from realized effective treatments. The findings both extend and delimit the classical analysis of randomized experiments.

Keywords: Analysis of treatment response, Partial identification, social networks

Suggested Citation

Manski, Charles F., Identification of Treatment Response with Social Interactions (February 2013). The Econometrics Journal, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. S1-S23, 2013, Available at SSRN: or

Charles F. Manski (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-8223 (Phone)
847-491-7001 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics