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Activity Number: 3 - Individualized Treatment Rules
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Monday, August 3, 2020 : 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Sponsor: Biometrics Section
Abstract #309371
Title: Synthetic Difference in Differences
Author(s): David Abraham Hirshberg* and Dmitry Arkhangelsky and Susan Athey and Guido Imbens and Stefan Wager
Companies: Stanford GSB and CEMFI Madrid and Stanford University and Stanford GSB and Stanford University
Keywords: causal inference; panel data; treatment effect; difference in differences; synthetic control; longitudinal

We propose a new estimator for the average treatment effect on the treated in panel data with simultaneous adoption of treatment. The estimator is a weighted version of the well-known difference in differences estimator. Like the synthetic control estimator, our estimator uses unit weights to improve the validity of the comparison between treated and control units. And like time-series forecasting methods based on linear regression, our estimator compares a weighted average of pre-treatment time periods that is predictive of the post-treatment period to improve the validity of pre/post comparisons. We find that this new Synthetic Difference in Differences estimator has attractive properties compared to synthetic control, linear forecasting, and difference-in-differences estimators. We show that our estimator is asymptotically unbiased and normal under relatively weak assumptions and give a consistent estimator for its standard error.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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