Economics: Variable and Stata Essays

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STAT 104: Getting started with Stata
The purpose of this tutorial is to learn how to download, install and use Stata for data manipulation, visualization and simple analysis.

1. Downloading and installing Stata onto your computer
You can get a free site-licensed copy of Stata for your computer through Harvard’s server. With this version, you will need to be able to log into the Harvard network every time you would like to use it.
First, you will need to download the following items from the FAS software download website:
- go to the software download center (you will need to log in using your Harvard PIN #): (If you are using a Mac, make sure you click on the correct platform for proper installation)
- Scroll down to the program: KeyAccess, and click on the Download button. Click on I accept and
Continue, and your download should start automatically. Save this to a convenient location on your computer, like your desktop. (If you have a pop-up blocker installed, you may have to click on the banner that opens near the top of the screen). For Macs, the analogous program is called KeyServer.
- Return to the FAS software download website, and download Stata SE (SE = “special edition”) as you did for KeyAccess. This is a large file (~90MB), so it may take a few minutes. For Macs, it is just called Stata.

Once you have downloaded the two programs as outlined above, you now need to install them. First install the program KeyAccess. Click on the program k2Clientv6_1.exe, click OK, click on next through all the prompts in the window, and then click Install. This should only take a few seconds.
When asked, you do not need to re-start your computer at this time.
Next you will need to install Stata. Open up the program you just downloaded: Stata10.exe. Click on
OK to being a Harvard affiliate, and the install should begin automatically. After about 1 minute, another window will pop open. Click Next three times, and the installation will continue. After about
30 seconds, a third prompt window will open up. Click Next through these prompts, and set-up will continue. After about 3-4 minutes, set-up should be complete. Click OK once the set-up finishes.
You can delete the two programs you downloaded (presumably on your desktop); these were used for installation only. Now, restart your computer before booting up Stata for the first time.

Purchasing your own copy (This option is not recommended for this course)
There is also an option to purchase your own copy of Stata. The advantage to this is you will be able to run Stata directly from your own hard drive, and will not need to log into the Harvard server every time you want to use the software. Of course, the downside is, it is quite expensive (from $48 to
$335). For this class, there should be no reason to purchase the software. Note that the Harvard site license can be used outside the Harvard network firewall with a VPN connection. AVPN connection can be made by downloading, installing, and running the program VPN Client from the FAS software download page mentioned above. If you do wish to purchase a version to use while traveling or while outside the Harvard network, we recommend the least expensive option, Small Stata, for $48.


You only need order the product you want at the Stata website below and you will be sent an email about where to pick up the software on campus. You can find the products here: Stata is also available in the FAS computing labs and runs as described below. You do not have to download the software on a computer in a lab.

2. Start-up and data manipulation
To open Stata on a computer lab PC (or on your computer in which you followed the above directions), click on Start → Programs → Stata 10 → StataSE 10. A screen should pop up that looks like this:

Notice, there are…