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RE: st: PDF Stata 8 manuals

From   "Dupont, William" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: PDF Stata 8 manuals
Date   Tue, 15 Jul 2003 13:43:06 -0500

Nick Cox

I did not by any means intend to disparage the quality of Stata
documentation.  Indeed its documentation is one of Stata's strengths.
Nevertheless, I doubt very much if many, or any, people buy the manuals
who are not interested in using the software.


-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Cox [] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 1:10 PM
Subject: RE: st: PDF Stata 8 manuals 

William Dupont

> I have no idea how much profit Stata makes from their manuals, but I 
> would assume that Stata is primarily a statistical software company 
> and only secondarily a publishing company.

Who knows? Economics is full of surprises.

I have heard it said that restaurants are lucky to break even on main
courses, but make their profit on starters and desserts.

> Stata is of limited value without the
> documentation and the manuals are of no value whatsoever without 
> Stata.

This is an exaggeration. The manuals carry a lot
of good explanation of various methods. It would be
surprising if anyone bought them for that reason alone,
but "no value whatsover" is too harsh. I certainly
buy books on software I never use if the ideas covered
are interesting or useful, although they're an order
of magnitude cheaper.

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