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Causal Spillover Effects Using Instrumental Variables

Gonzalo Vazquez-Bare

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Abstract: I set up a potential outcomes framework to analyze spillover effects using instrumental variables. I characterize the population compliance types in a setting in which spillovers can occur on both treatment take-up and outcomes, and provide conditions for identification of the marginal distribution of compliance types. I show that intention-to-treat (ITT) parameters aggregate multiple direct and spillover effects for different compliance types, and hence do not have a clear link to causally interpretable parameters. Moreover, rescaling ITT parameters by first-stage estimands generally recovers a weighted combination of average effects where the sum of weights is larger than one. I then analyze identification of causal direct and spillover effects under one-sided noncompliance, and show that causal effects can be estimated by 2SLS in this case. I illustrate the proposed methods using data from an experiment on social interactions and voting behavior. I also introduce an alternative assumption, independence of peers' types, that identifies parameters of interest under two-sided noncompliance by restricting the amount of heterogeneity in average potential outcomes.

Date: 2020-03, Revised 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2003.06023