Alberto Abadie (Workshop in Applied Statistics)


Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


CGIS Knafel Building, room K354 or Online via Zoom

Today's Speaker

Alberto Abadie (MIT), "Synthetic Controls for Experimental Design"


This article studies experimental design in settings where the experimental units are large aggregate entities (e.g., markets), and only one or a small number of units can be exposed to the treatment. In such settings, randomization of the treatment may induce large ex-post estimation biases under many or all possible treatment assignments. We propose a variety of synthetic control designs as experimental designs to select treated units in non-randomized experiments with large aggregate units, as well as the untreated units to be used as a control group. Average potential outcomes are estimated as weighted averages of treated units for potential outcomes with treatment, and control units for potential outcomes without treatment. We analyze the properties of such estimators and propose new inferential techniques.

The Applied Statistics Workshop (Gov 3009) meets all academic year, Wednesdays, 12pm-1:30pm, in CGIS K354. This workshop is a forum for advanced graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss methodological or empirical work in progress in an interdisciplinary setting. The workshop features a tour of Harvard's statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in different fields and disciplines and includes occasional presentations by invited speakers.

More information is available at the Gov 3009 website:

All interested Harvard affiliates are invited to attend.