I have the following scenario. I have two groups. With the first one nothing happens during the whole time span. However, for the second one situation changes. First, Reform 1 happens and allows individuals from the second group to voluntarily be selected into the treatment(basically they have an option for half of the year to try the treatment). Then after half of the year, all the individuals of the second group are treated. I suppose that I can't in this situation just use a standard Difference in Difference model which assumes two time periods (pre and post) and just one treatment. But how can I approach the problem with the period where the second group can choose whether it wants to be treated or not?

  • $\begingroup$ I assume you have Pre and Post assessments for the first group. For the second group, at what times do you have assessments Pre, Mid, Post? $\endgroup$
    – BruceET
    May 3, 2020 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, for the second group I have assessments at pre, mid and post times $\endgroup$ May 4, 2020 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


Paired tests within 2nd group. I'd look at the second group first. You have two types of subjects in there. Ones who volunteered to start treatment early and those who didn't.

For those who stared early, use a paired t test to see if there is a difference in differences between the no treatment phase and the treatment phase.

For those who started later (if you gave tests timed to do it), do a similar paired test to see if there is a difference between 'full' treatment and 'half'.

Two-sample tests between two main groups. Between the two groups (no treatment at all and at least some treatment), do a Welch 2-sample t test to see if there is a difference in differences. (Post - Pre in both groups).

Depending on findings above, the timing of various tests, in the second group, and the number of subjects in each subgroup of the second group, other comparisons between the two main groups might be worthwhile investigating.

Plan analysis before taking data. As always, if perhaps only in retrospect, one appreciates the advantages of planning the methods of analysis before beginning the study.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.