Dear members of the list,
I almost never said anything here. I teach econometrics (time series) to
undergraduates and, yes, they will try every possible web-forum to make
someone do their homework for them. Unfortunately, that´s the truth. So, I
agree that not-related-to-Gretl points could be moderated. But, by other
hand, many discussions that are apparently exclusively theoretical, could be
great to improve Gretl. The moderator should judge this before building the
wall for the questions.
By other hand, Gretl manual is great but I agree with Mr. Zipitria, it´s not
homogeneous. Some topics are not done yet. By other hand, yesterday, I tried
the chapter 24 and the discussion about the deterministic terms in a VECM
(or CVAR, for those that like Juselius´ approach) is the best I´ve read in
years! I must thank the authors now for this amazing work.
In this semester I finally got to disseminate Gretl, EasyReg and R for my
students. Sometimes I have doubts about specific topics of Gretl and, as
many of you guys are discussing, I think that´s the best of this list.
Sorry for my bad English, I don´t know if I could help you with this
discussion but, at least, I thanked the authors of the manual! :)
Claudio D. Shikida (http://shikida.net
On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Leandro Zipitria <
I think this is a very relevant discussion, so let me share some thoughts.
I agree with Jack that setting up a general discussion of econometrics
could end in a "do-my-homework-for-myself" thing.
I'm not an econometrician, just an amateur user of econometrics. As such,
hundred of times I was in desperate need of quick answers for econometric
issues of mixed origins. My problem is I do not understand Gretl or
Econometrics? My problem is that I have not read the Gretl manual enough?
I have tried to avoid specific econometric discussions in Gretl list,
because I think everyone has been polite and patient, I should not gone too
far using others people time.
I think Google could be a much better research find place than the proposed
list, although some people have generously share their knowledge on a lot
I think there are two roads that maybe should be explored, and I am trying
to sum up some of the emails that others send upon this topic. Please, do
not feel the following reflections as critics, nor demanding more work to
those that gently spend their time to simplify our work. I expect them to be
path for improving Gretl. My reflections will be targeted upon the use of
the Gretl console or the construction of inp files.
1) The Gretl documentation some times is obscure on the specific way that
one should proceed in order to do things work. This came in two ways. First,
sometimes the commands itself have sometimes a narrow explanation. Some have
examples and others not, and as in Murphy's Laws the day you lack examples
when you need some specific command. As an example, I found that Gretl
documentation is scarce on how commands work in panels. But not how to do
econometric, but how to manipulate and how work specific commands in panels.
Second, in the Gretl Guide, which I think is also a good reference
econometric text, some inp examples are good for the topic at hand (and
work!), but some lines need more explanation. I regret not having a good
example right now, and this weaken my argument. This also happen when they
are references to C++ commands.
2) The Gretl User guide abounds in econometric explanations (how to decide
between random and fixed effects) which is excelent! But it lack explanation
on the specific way it is calculated. As an example, in the command meantest
--unequal-vars I was asked on which is the specific formula used. I have no
answer but "in the usual way, I think". In panels I have another answer from
a colleague on the specific way Gretl estimate the parameters (which I do
not remember now, sorry) and I could not find the answer.
The first point could be easily handled, and those who do not program could
make some suggestions. The second one I think could require more work in
order to translate the code to a readable text.
I think this two lines of work could improve Gretl and also spread its use.
When I talk to people which use STATA in order to convince them that Gretl
is not less than STATA, I found a barrier in the details of the specific
calculations (among some spread fear that associate free with not god as
I hope this email contribute to the discussion,
2011/5/4 Talha Yalta <talhayalta(a)gmail.com>
> Although I have brought up the issue in the first place, I must
> emphasize that I don't have a strong opinion on this issue. Various
> people have expressed their opinions on the subject and we see there a
> pros and cons. I think the pros may outweigh the cons, is slightly.
> Then again, I don't have much experience in running such lists.
> For the sake of completeness of the discussion, I would like to
> mention that such a list, if moderated, could be very useful for
> improving gretl's documentation. There are experienced econometricians
> in the list and their answers for my initial coint2 related question
> provide a very thorough view on the subject, missing in the
> documentation. (By the way, I am grateful for all those responses.)
> An often cited problem regarding open source software is insufficient
> documentation. For example, gretl's user manual is dwarfed by Stata's
> 3 volume Base Reference Manual.
> So I think it may be worth considering to set up a list for which
> subscription is limited to a balanced mix of experienced
> econometricians and maybe less experienced econometricians who know
> gretl well and actively involve in its development (such as yours
> truly). It is expected that this mailing list would have a very low
> message frequency and the posts will be edited and used for improving
> a topic or a discussion in gretl's documentation. Of course, the
> participants to the list would also be acknowledged in the user's
> manual. This would provide additional incentive to participate in
> addition to knowing one is doing something helpful for the developers,
> mainly Allin and Jack.
> If successfull, this could even be a case study in open source
> development process.
> Best regards,
> On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 3:34 AM, MICHAEL BOLDIN <mboldin(a)temple.edu>
> > I was part of asking about making new mailing list but after reading
> > the replies and recalling my experiences running such a list at one
> > time, it is probably not worthwhile. If it becomes popular because
> > experienced GRETL users do respond we will surely encourage a lot of:
> > 'do my econometrics homework for me' (as someone else points out) or
> > worse: 'how do I apply a technique for which I have no idea about how
> > it works but want to use it for my dissertation'. Many of the
> > remainder are likely to be naive and show the person asking the
> > questions did not bother to first look in their econometrics textbook
> > Most important: Anyone motivated to make it work (inside or outside
> > of the GRETL community) could easily start such a list independently
> > of GRETL. A Google
> > group is easy to set up. And if Allin, Sven, Jack and others involved
> > in development and enhancements to GRETL were to encourage something
> > linked to GRETL, the value added is unlikely to exceed the
> > distraction.
> > So I change my vote to letting things stand as they are-- everyone
> > seeing a few econometrics questions related to GREL every once in a
> > while.
> > However, I think an item in the GRETL Help menu for 'Check and use
> > the GRETL developers listserve' would be a worthwhile addition.
> > Instead of making it a direct 'Send question to listserve' I suggest
> > encouraging new users to search the listserve first by simply pointing
> > to http://lists.wfu.edu/mailman/listinfo/gretl-devel
and adding the
> > ground rules to this page.
> > --my 2 cents
> > _______________________________________________
> > Gretl-users mailing list
> > Gretl-users(a)lists.wfu.edu
> > http://lists.wfu.edu/mailman/listinfo/gretl-users
> “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made
> in a very narrow field.” - Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
> Gretl-users mailing list
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