Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Proximal Causal Inference for Synthetic Control with Surrogates

Jizhou Liu · Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen · Carlos Varj√£o

MR1 & MR2 - Number 87
[ ]
Fri 3 May 8 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT


The synthetic control method (SCM) has become a popular tool for estimating causal effects in policy evaluation, where a single treated unit is observed. However, SCM faces challenges in accurately predicting post-intervention potential outcomes had, contrary to fact, the treatment been withheld, when the pre-intervention period is short or the post-intervention period is long. To address these issues, we propose a novel method that leverages post-intervention information, specifically time-varying correlates of the causal effect called "surrogates", within the synthetic control framework. We establish conditions for identifying model parameters using the proximal inference framework and apply the generalized method of moments (GMM) approach for estimation and inference about the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT). Interestingly, we uncover specific conditions under which exclusively using post-intervention data suffices for estimation within our framework. Through a synthetic experiment and a real-world application, we demonstrate that our method can outperform other synthetic control methods in estimating both short-term and long-term effects, yielding more accurate inferences.

Live content is unavailable. Log in and register to view live content