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NetCourseNowTM 151: Introduction to Stata Programming

Become an expert in organizing your work in Stata. Make the most of Stata's scripting language to improve your workflow and create concretely reproducible analyses. Learn how branching, looping, flow of control, and accessing saved estimation results can speed up your work and lead to more complete analyses. Learn about bootstrapping and Monte Carlo simulations, too.
Stata 13 or Stata 12, installed and working
Basic knowledge of using Stata interactively
Internet web browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, installed and working
(Course is platform independent)



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Course content

Lecture 1: Organization of analysis

  • Mechanics of using do-files, ado-files, and program define
  • Programming as automating data-management and analysis
  • Organization of multiple do-files
  • Ensuring reproducibility
  • Data verification (assert)
  • Debugging (trace)
  • Working with datasets too large to fit in memory
  • Indexing (subscripting) observations
  • assert as an alternative to branching
  • Reading and processing relational datasets
  • Consuming calculated results

Lecture 2: Macros, arguments, and looping

  • Using macros to contain strings
  • Using macros to contain numbers
  • Using macros to pass and receive arguments with do-files
  • Using macros to pass and receive arguments with programs
  • Distinction between local and global macros
  • Branching and looping
  • Program style
  • Shifting over lists
  • Looping across observations
  • Application: Listing data neatly (report writing and use of display)

Lecture 3: Examples and applications

  • Do-files, ado-files, and programs: when to use which
  • Complicated data management example: processing hospital admission/discharge data and merging with patient file
  • Working with dates
  • Working with dates and time of day
  • Programming bootstrapped standard errors
  • Programming Monte Carlo simulations
  • Use of postfile to program bootstraps and simulations beyond the capabilities of bootstrap and simulate

Lecture 4: Ado-files

  • Organizing files and directories
  • Writing real ado-files: command to run analysis do-files
  • Automatically logging analysis
  • Putting time-and-date stamps on analyses
  • Error handling
  • Writing on-line help files
  • Temporary variables
  • Temporarily destroying data
  • Temporary files
  • Analysis-specific ado-files
  • General-purpose ado-files
  • Converting analysis-specific to general-purpose ado-files
  • More on display and producing formatted output
  • Parsing commands with syntax
  • Version control

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