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  • Writer's pictureYe Wang

Causal Inference under Temporal and Spatial Interference

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

Many social events and policy interventions generate treatment effects that persistently spill over into neighboring areas, causing interference in both time and space. In this paper, we propose a design-based framework to identify and estimate these spillover effects in panel data, when temporal and spatial interference intertwine with each other in complex ways that are unknown to researchers. Our framework defines estimands that enable researchers to measure the influence of each type of interference, and we propose estimators that are consistent and asymptotically normal under the assumption of sequential ignorability and mild regularity conditions. We show that conventional methods in panel data analysis, such as the difference-in-differences (DID) estimator or fixed effects models, can lead to significant biases in such scenarios. We test the method's performance on both simulated datasets and the replication of an empirical study from political science.

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