Reading IMEUS

I am currently reviewing econometrics by reading Christopher Baum’s An Introduction to Modern Econometrics Using Stata.* Although linear regression is not discussed until chapter 4, chapters 1 to 3 (particularly chapter 3) are equally important (I finished chapter 3 last week…long way to go given my current rate of <1 chapter a week). Afterall, before anyone complicates his life with all those regressions, one needs to be sure that the data is “clean” and structured in such a way that it is fit for the analyis required. In fact, I think that the time spent on data management is so much more than the time spent on the actual data analysis.

Here are some of the things I remember about the first three chapters of the book. The discussion of Stata’s features in chapter 1 made me appreciate Stata even more. Chapter 2 outlines the basic tools one needs to learn to efficiently work with Stata. This chapter provided me very helpful tips on how to handle missing data and dates. And in chapter 3, I especially liked the section on data validation, which introduced me to the command -assert-. If only I knew -assert- when I was “cleaning” the QIDS dataset (7 years ago), it would have been easier to do all those consistency checks. Instead of running each line one by one, using -assert- would have allowed me to run the whole do-file but will stop and let me know whenever conditions are not met. So much for regret…

On to the next chapter…

*Thanks to Ellen and Jo Cain for leaving me this book before they left for the US :)

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