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Re: st: RE: Finding Stata commands

From   Tim <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: RE: Finding Stata commands
Date   Mon, 04 Oct 2010 23:16:41 +1100

out why. So here's a summary.
Monitoring Statalist is great for learning what is available (both in terms of techniques and in Stata commands). But this is a very active list and I only read posts where the title relates to something I am working on. I would search the archives if I were trying a new type of analysis. But I would not have searched for -psmatch2- and I dispute that "most users" would have.

I don't expect Stata or Statalist to give me the best analysis for my problem. But if I decide I want to do (for example) propensity weighting, I would hope -findit- would give appropriate results. And I still wonder why I have never heard of -psmatch2- when (according to Statalist) most Stata users interested in propensity matching would look for -psmatch2-.

On 4/10/2010 21:57, Nick Cox wrote:
As Tim implies, there is an easy and a difficult side to this.

-findit- remains the best single way of finding Stata commands.

. findit propensity score

does point to -psmatch2-, among other materials.

However, this process is dependent on official Stata commands and user-written packages being documented properly, notably by people having previously thought of the keywords you want to type. Sometimes, as in this example, they are fairly obvious, but not always.

Anyone who wants to know what is "best" can only expect only limited help.

1. StataCorp feels free to say which official Stata commands are best for a given purpose (often by downgrading outdated commands in terms of documentation support). They won't grade or evaluate user-written commands, other than by adopting them (which these days is rare).

2. User-programmers should feel free to say which of their own commands are best for a given purpose.

3. You can otherwise best get a sense of what is "best" by following Statalist and listening to what people say -- or do not say. Look for programs that are well supported, well documented and well maintained. Sometimes, a programmer did a good job some years ago and there is no need to update, but often an old, unsupported program may be suspect.

[email protected]


I have never used propensity score matching but I considered it recently
and did some reading in the area, and this post attracted my attention.
I have not been following this discussion, but I happened to notice the
claim that "most users these days would look for -psmatch2-".

So my question: why would most users look for -psmatch2-?
Why would anyone look for that name if they did not already know it?

I typed -findit propensity score- and got a lot of results that look
useful. The first few mention -gpscore- (I have not followed links to
know if this is relevant) and  -pscore- is mentioned near the end.

In scanning the search results I saw no mention of -psmatch2-. Yet "most
users...would look for psmatch2".

When I think about it, I realise all the Stata commands I use are those
that were mentioned in my training.
If I seriously wanted to do propensity score matching in Stata, how
would I find the correct command?
(and how do I know that -psmatch2- is the correct command?)
More generally, how do I find the best command for an analysis I am
considering but have never used?

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