In this article we discuss the no-multiple-versions-of-treatment assumption and extend the potential outcomes framework to accommodate causal inference under violations of this assumption. A variety of examples are discussed in which the assumption may be violated. Identification results are provided for the overall treatment effect and the effect of treatment on the treated when multiple versions of treatment are present and also for the causal effect comparing a version of one treatment to some other version of the same or a different treatment. Further identification and interpretative results are given for cases in which a treatment variable is dichotomized to create a new treatment variable for which there are effectively "multiple versions" and also for effects defined by setting the version of treatment to a prespecified distribution. Some of the identification results bear resemblance to identification results in the literature on direct and indirect effects. We describe some settings in which ignoring multiple versions of treatment, even when present, will not lead to incorrect inferences.
VanderWeele, Tyler J. and Hernan, Miguel A., "Causal inference under multiple versions of treatment" (February 2011). COBRA Preprint Series. Working Paper 77.