Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects, Second Version

68 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2015

See all articles by Sarah Baird

Sarah Baird

George Washington University - School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS)

J. Aislinn Bohren

University of Pennsylvania; Centre for Economic Policy Research

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: June 17, 2015

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Experimental Design, Networks, Cash Transfers

JEL Classification: C93, O22, I25

Suggested Citation

Baird, Sarah and Bohren, J. Aislinn and McIntosh, Craig and Ozler, Berk, Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects, Second Version (June 17, 2015). PIER Working Paper No. 15-021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2619724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2619724

Sarah Baird

George Washington University - School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) ( email )

2300 I Street, NW
Ross Hall 106
Washington, DC 20037
United States

J. Aislinn Bohren (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

133 South 36th Street
The Ronald O. Perelman Center
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/bozler

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