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Today I read a discussion and I saw a phrase "inter-temporal evolution".

A pre-trend analysis isn't a requirement, though it improves the credibility of a study. Typically, evaluators plot the outcome trends for the treatment group and the control group over time. We should expect the inter-temporal evolution of the trends to be reasonably parallel before the law/policy is enacted.

For example, the authors in the paper you referenced plot the mean change in >asset growth in both groups in the 2 years before and the 5 years after the >adoption of a leniency law.

I am wondering what does it mean in this situation.

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The prefix "inter" means "belonging to many" (think international = belonging to many nations). "Temporal" means "having to do with time or time frames".

In this situation, "inter-temporal evolution" refers to the "mean change in asset growth in (..) the 2 years before and the 5 years after the adoption of a leniency law".

The two time frames are "2 years before" and "5 years after". They are looking at the difference in evolution between these two time frames.

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    Do you have any reference for the claim that ‘"inter" means "belonging to many"’?
    – Void
    May 28 '21 at 8:26
  • @Void, I don't but I find it's the most useful definition for this instance.
    – E.Aigle
    May 28 '21 at 8:59
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    @Void: OED inter- prefix, defn 1c: ‘Belonging in common to, or composed of elements derived from, different things (of the kind indicated by the second element)’. It's perfectly reasonable to extrapolate many from different there. May 28 '21 at 13:00
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Temporal evolution is time evolution.

Temporal means relating to time.

Inter means between.

Inter-temporal, thus, describes any relationship between past, present and future events or conditions.

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The sentence you quote

We should expect the inter-temporal evolution of the trends to be reasonably parallel before the law/policy is enacted.

would be much improved by the omission of inter-temporal altogether. It is completely redundant since the trends referred to are changes over time. For much more detail about this form of analysis with some helpful graphs you might like look at the Wikipedia article on difference in differences

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Seems like jargon to me. Keep in mind that this term may have a specific meaning in the context of the field. Etymology of the phrase is also potentially useful as others have pointed out.

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