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st: Re: estout vs outreg outreg2

From   "roy wada" <>
Subject   st: Re: estout vs outreg outreg2
Date   Sun, 11 Jun 2006 13:59:40 -0400

There have been some discussion about outreg and outreg2. Perhaps I should have explained it more clearly when I first released outreg2.

First, outreg2 is not a wrapper and does the heavy lifting itself, but the task has been made easier by the good people of the Stata Corp, who had established a stable nomenclature for matrix names. This means outreg2 can handle ALL estimation commands that conforms to the official guideline. Hence outreg2 is extremely stable and needs very little updating. It goes without saying (until now) that the most obvious functions, such as the recently raised issue of directly reporting the raw t-statistics, has been implemented within outreg2. All idiosyncratic issues (known to me) have been fixed.

Second, outreg2 will handle a list of STORED ESTIMATES made by -estimates- suite of Stata command. For example, to report your stored estimates named TOM and JERRY, or all of the stored estimates, do something like this:

. outreg2 [TOM JERRY] using myfile
. outreg2 [*] using myfile

Third, outreg2 will produce tables in Word, Excel, LaTeX, and text format. outreg2 also comes with -shellout- command that DIRECTLY OPENS the produced tables in Word, Excel, or LaTeX (or TeX-associated editors) for the users of Window XP/NT. This is very fast and a useful tool during research. A blue hypertext is also produced, which you can click to activate.

Fourth, outreg2 comes with -seeout- command that will immediately display the produced table in the BROWSER VIEW WITHIN Stata. This is also fast (unless you have a million-plus observations). A blue hypertext is produced that you can click.

Philosophically speaking, outreg2 is a research tool to be used DURING research, not AFTER. Making regression tables is not something you would perform only at the end of research. Without undue effort on your part, outreg2 gives you the immediate access to a formatted table that let you compare ACROSS regressions on the computer screen. SAS users have to PHYSICALLY PRINT their outputs in order to compare them MANUALLY. This is why the SAS users print hundreds of pages. (A note to system administrators: you can realize a significant cost reductions in paper/toner by switching to Stata).

I talk about these issues (among other things) in a paper that I had written last year. I probably should have submitted it to the Stata Journal, but outreg2 does not really need an extensive documentation to use it. The ease of use is a virtue when you are worrying about something more important (like choosing a model). I am not into having to look up a command everytime I use it. I often find myself using a workaround just to avoid having to look it up.


P.S. I suppose I could add several lines to outreg2 to make it fully compatible with estadd (okay with scalars, but not with matrices); what I would like to see as a user is a program that would handle summary statistics the way outreg2 handles the regression outputs. I suppose it can be done, using the ereturn matrices or by-passing them.

First of all the relevant comparison is estout versus outreg2. outreg has not been developed for some time, which triggered Roy Wada's development of outreg2.

The primary difference is that outreg2 (like outreg) does all the heavy lifting itself, whereas estout piggybacks upon the official - estimates- suite of Stata commands. Thus additional tools such as estadd would not be useful in conjunction with outreg2, since outreg2 does not make use of stored estimates.

I used to use outreg, and tested outreg2 when it appeared. estout is complex, but also is very fully documented by an extensive article in the Stata Journal. estout also has a useful "intro" help file which shows how it can be used without any complexity, taking the defaults for many of the options. I highly recommend that anyone interested in output to text, HTML or LaTeX have a look at estout.

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics

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