So Who Are We Anyway?

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We are Stata users. More specifically, we are novice economists at MIT, and as is often the case with economists, Stata enters our lives rather frequently. Once given a perfectly formatted dataset, Stata beautifully implements a wide spectrum of econometric tools, greatly simplifying our pursuit of the dismal science. However, perfectly formatted datasets do not occur spontaneously in nature. For many applications, Stata users need to use Stata to perform functions typical of standard programming languages. The absence or limitations of such capabilities can make Stata programming unnecessarily complex and frustrating

Statabusters is a blog dedicated to these frustrations and to improving the lives of Stata coders. As students and researchers, technical blogs have often provided us with insightful solutions to problems that we have encountered, and have proved helpful both in learning and furthering our work. Our hope is to use Statabusters to contribute to the online Stata knowledge base and to provide a forum for discussion of the Stata experience.

So who are we more specifically? We are Shosh and Cory, undergraduate (current and former) students in the MIT Mathematics and Economics departments. As economists, we study Game Theory and International Development respectively, and our work has benefited from MIT’s open door to technical topics from Algebra to Machine Learning. As bloggers, we will periodically document some of the experiences that we have had with Stata — some simple, and some complex and ugly — discussing the problems we encountered and the solutions we considered or applied. We are limited to our own experiences, however, and so we encourage our fellow Stata-sticians to contribute to the blog in the form of independent entries, comment threads, and other creative ways.

We look forward to many posts on the ups and downs of Stata and statistical research in general. Look for more from us soon!

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