Inference in Spatial Experiments with Interference using the SpatialEffect Package

06/29/2021 ∙ by Peter M. Aronow, et al. ∙ 0

This paper presents methods for analyzing spatial experiments when complex spillovers, displacement effects, and other types of "interference" are present. We present a robust, design-based approach to analyzing effects in such settings. The design-based approach derives inferential properties for causal effect estimators from known features of the experimental design, in a manner analogous to inference in sample surveys. The methods presented here target a quantity of interest called the "average marginalized response," which is equal to the average effect of activating a treatment at an intervention point that is a given distance away, averaging ambient effects emanating from other intervention points. We provide a step-by-step tutorial based on the SpatialEffect package for R. We apply the methods to a randomized experiment on payments for community forest conservation in Uganda, showing how our methods reveal possibly substantial spatial spillovers that more conventional analyses cannot detect.



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