# Re: st: RE: RE: Displaying values less than one with a zero in front of the comma

 From Chris Ruebeck To statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu Subject Re: st: RE: RE: Displaying values less than one with a zero in front of the comma Date Tue, 22 Feb 2005 10:22:58 -0500

In regards to #1, I think we should all develop a taste for including the leading zero. Whether or not that requires a law in Stata or elsewhere is open to discussion.

As regards economics. What's important in results are (usually in decreasing order) significance, sign, and size. This doesn't require more than 2, maybe 3, digits in the mantissa. You're right, the logic of significant digits doesn't differ from elsewhere, just the reliability of the data and---more crucially---the model. Since this is probably true for most social scientists using Stata and it's probably true that most people using Stata are
social scientists, singling out economics was unnecessary.

Chris

On Feb 21, 2005, at 5:51 PM, Nick Cox wrote:

I second two of Nick's ideas. (1) Always use the leading zero, although having the option to decide whether or not it's included in all formats is fine.
Whoa, just a small point please! I said I like this myself, not that it should be the law!

(2) More flexibility in applying different formats to different parts of the display. I'm frustrated, in particular, when I want to use a fixed format but different variables' coefficients in my regression either have a different number of significant digits or (since the concept of significant digits is questionable in economics) different magnitudes of the least significant digit. Example 1: I'd rather see 0.023 and
0.0032 instead of either 0.0231 and 0.0032 or 2.3E-2 and 3.2E-3. Example 2: I'd rather see 2.3 and 0.32 than either 2.31 and 0.32 or 2.3 and 3.2E-1. ["and" takes precedence over "or" in parsing these examples.]
I am intrigued here. I don't understand the comment about economics. Does the logic of showing economic numbers differ from that elsewhere?
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