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st: degenerate normal (mild annoyance)

From   "Feiveson, Alan H. (JSC-SK311)" <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: degenerate normal (mild annoyance)
Date   Fri, 21 Aug 2009 08:51:19 -0500

Hi - In Stata 10, I just noticed that the function -rnormal(mu,sig)- returns all missing values when sig = 0. I consider this a bug, since sometimes for debugging purposes it is convenient to set a particular variance component to zero. In other words, I would want -rnormal(mu,sig) to return a variable with all values equal to the `mu' when `sig' = 0. 

Of course, I don't have to use "rnormal" notation and could just as well used statements such as 

gen y = `sig'*rnormal(0,1) +`mu'

in my programs. But then why even bother with the "rnormal( , )" command?

(Buy the way, -drawnorm- does provide the correct output when the covariance matrix is all zeros.)

Does anyone with Stata 11 get the same result?

Al Feiveson

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