Synthetic Control Method

Last Updated: 28/07/2021

Abadie and Gardeazabal. 2003. The economic costs of conflict: A case study of the basque country. American Economic Review, 93(1), pp.113–132.


Abadie et al. 2010. Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(490), pp.493–505.


Abadie et al. 2015. Comparative Politics and the Synthetic Control Method. American Journal of Political Science, 59(2), pp. 495–510.


Abadie. 2021. Using Synthetic Controls: Feasibility, Data Requirements, and Methodological Aspects. Journal of Economic Literature. 59(2), pp.391–425.


Galiani et al. 2017. The synth_runner package: Utilities to automate synthetic control estimation using synth. Stata Journal, 17(4), pp. 834–849.




Cao and Dowd. 2019. Estimation and Inference for Synthetic Control Methods with Spillover Effects. Working Paper.


Cattaneo et al. 2019. Prediction intervals for synthetic control methods. Working Paper.


Ferman and Pinto. 2017. Placebo Tests for Synthetic Controls. MPRA Paper No. 78079.


Firpo and Possebom. 2018. Synthetic Control Method: Inference, Sensitivity Analysis and Confidence Sets. Journal of Causal Inference, 6(2), e20160026.


Glynn and Ichino. 2016. Increasing Inferential Leverage in the Comparative Method: Placebo Tests in Small-n Research. Sociological Methods & Research, 45(3), pp.598–629.


Hahn and Shi. 2017. Synthetic Control and Inference. Econometrics, 5(4), 52.


Li. 2020. Statistical Inference for Average Treatment Effects Estimated by Synthetic Control Methods. Journal of the American Statistical Association. 115(532), pp.2068–2083.


Linden. 2018. Combining synthetic controls and interrupted time series analysis to improve causal inference in program evaluation. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 24, pp.447–453.


Bias correction and estimator modifications:


Abadie and L’Hour. 2020. A penalized synthetic control estimator for disaggregated data. Working Paper.


Amjad et al. 2018. Robust Synthetic Control. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 19, pp.1–51. 


Amjad et al. 2019. mRSC: Multi-dimensional Robust Synthetic Control. Working Paper.


Ben-Michael et al. In Press. The Augmented Synthetic Control Method. Journal of the American Statistical Association


Chen. 2020. A distributional synthetic control method for policy evaluation. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 35(5), pp.505–525.


Doudchenko and Imbens. 2017. Balancing, regression, difference-in-differences and synthetic control methods: a synthesis. Working Paper.


Ferman and Pinto. 2016. Revisiting the Synthetic Control Estimator. MPRA Paper 73982.


Ferman and Pinto. 2021. Synthetic Controls with Imperfect Pre-Treatment Fit. Working Paper.


Gunsilius. 2021. Distributional synthetic controls. Working Paper.


Kim et al. 2020. Bayesian Synthetic Control Methods. Journal of Marketing Research, 57(5), pp.831–852.


Mühlbach and Nielsen. 2021. Tree-based synthetic control methods: Consequences of relocating the US embassy. Working Paper.


Viviano and Bradic. 2019. Synthetic Learner: Model-Free Inference on Treatments over Time. Working Paper.

Covariate selection:


Botosaru and Ferman. 2019. On the role of covariates in the synthetic control method. Econometrics Journal, 22, pp. 117–130.


Kaul et al. 2015. Synthetic Control Methods: Never Use All Pre-Intervention Outcomes Together With Covariates. MPRA Paper No. 83790.


Ferman et al. 2020. Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(2), pp.510–532.

Multiple treatment units:


Arkhangelsky et al. 2021. Synthetic Difference in Differences. NBER Working Paper No. 25532.


Ben-Michael et al. 2019. Synthetic Controls and Weighted Event Studies with Staggered Adoption. Working Paper.


Dube and Zipperer. 2015. Pooling Multiple Case Studies Using SyntheticControls: An Application to Minimum Wage Policies. IZA Discussion Papers, No. 8944.


Kreif et al. 2016. Examination of the synthetic control method for evaluating health policies with multiple treated units. Health Economics, 25, pp.1514–1528.


Powell. 2017. Synthetic Control Estimation Beyond Case Studies:Does the Minimum Wage Reduce Employment?. RAND Working Paper No 1142.


Robbins et al. 2017. A Framework for Synthetic Control Methods With High-Dimensional, Micro-Level Data: Evaluating a Neighborhood-Specific Crime Intervention. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 112(517), pp.109–126.


Wan et al. 2018. Panel data approach vs synthetic control method. Economics Letters, 164, pp.121–123.


Xu. 2017. Generalized Synthetic Control Method: Causal Inference with Interactive Fixed Effects Models. Political Analysis, 25, pp.57–76.


Simulations and empirical testing


Carvalho et al. 2018. ArCo: An artificial counterfactual approach for high-dimensional panel time-series data. Journal of Econometrics, 207(2), pp.352–380.


Chernozhukov et al. 2021. An Exact and Robust Conformal Inference Method for Counterfactual and Synthetic Controls. Working Paper.


Ferman. 2020. On the Properties of the Synthetic Control Estimator with Many Periods and Many Controls. Working Paper.


Gardeazabal and Vega-Bayo. 2017. An empirical comparison between the Synthetic Control Method and Hsiao et al.’s panel data approach to program evaluation. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 32, pp.983–1002.


Hsiao and Zhou. 2019. Panel parametric, semiparametric, and nonparametric construction of counterfactuals. Journal of Applied Econometrics, 34, pp.463–481.


Klobner and Pfeifer. 2018. Outside the box: using synthetic control methods as a forecasting technique. Applied Economic Letters, 25(9), pp.615–618.


Klobner et al. 2018. Comparative politics and the synthetic control method revisited: a note on

Abadie et al. (2015). Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 154, 11.