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RE: st: RE: Understanding the difference between gen and egen


From   Richard Williams <Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   RE: st: RE: Understanding the difference between gen and egen
Date   Wed, 14 Jun 2006 09:31:49 -0500

At 03:14 AM 6/14/2006, Nick Cox wrote:
I am not knocking -egen-. I may be its greatest
fan in the Stata community. I have found it helpful
in my own work to be able to use, and to write -egen-
functions. But it is not, itself, an enormous deal. It is at root
a rag-bag of convenient short-cuts. For example,
if -egen, total()- did not exist, we could get
there typically in two lines instead of one,
as in

bysort bar: egen foototal = total(foo)

being done by

bysort bar : gen foototal = sum(foo)
by bar: replace foototal = foototal[_N]
I think that may understate egen's value a bit. True, as far as typing goes, it may sometimes only save you a line or two. But for many people it will also save the several hours it would take to figure out what those two or three lines would be!


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Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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