Treatment Effect Heterogeneity

38 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022

See all articles by Jeffrey A. Smith

Jeffrey A. Smith

University of Wisconsin - Madison; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)


Knowledge of treatment effect heterogeneity or "essential heterogeneity" plays an important role in our understanding of how programs work and in the design of systems to allocate them among the eligible. This paper provides a relatively non-technical survey of the current state of the treatment effect heterogeneity enterprise within economics from both substantive and applied econometric perspectives. It also suggests directions for research on treatment effect heterogeneity going forward.

Keywords: treatment effects, essential heterogeneity, program evaluation

JEL Classification: C10, C41

Suggested Citation

Smith, Jeffrey Andrew, Treatment Effect Heterogeneity. IZA Discussion Paper No. 15151, Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey Andrew Smith (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison

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Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Bonn, D-53072

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