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Re: st: Stata Estimates to LaTeX Tables

From   Fredrik Wallenberg <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata Estimates to LaTeX Tables
Date   Tue, 11 May 2004 10:08:32 -0700

On May 11, 2004, at 9:56, Nick Cox wrote:

Another more recent jest asserts that attaching
asterisks to classes of P-values is `a symbolism
more appropriate to an hotel guide-book than
a serious scientific paper' (P. Sprent JRSS A
133: 139-165, 1970; quotation on p.143). Such
disapproval hasn't stopped it becoming
standard in some fields, and more importantly
in some journals.

Maybe the fact that something becomes a standard "by mistake" in an indication of pent up demand. I understand the purists who would rather see p-values and confidence intervals. However, there is little difference between a p-value and a confidence interval and NO difference between a confidence interval and a significance value symbol. Economist are also purists in that they will always request the standard errors... of course once you have that (and N) you can derive the p-values etc. Thus, if we believe that the estimate and the standard errors are the fundamental pieces of information, everything else is just window-dressing/visualization. From that perspective I do not find it surprising that the asterisks have caught on since they are both compact and very clear.

Going back to the quote above, I believe there are some groups of economists that would lynch you if you reported p-values but tolerate the asterisks ;-)


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