Resources for Economics Students
The Public Policy Workshop (PPW) is a research facility available to students working on research in the Division of History and Social Sciences. It is located in Eliot 110 and contains six computers which can function in either Mac or Windows operating systems. The equipment provided represents the state-of-the-art technology supporting the most recent releases of operating systems and applications. Laser printing and projection facilities are also available. Application forms for access to the PPW facility can be found outside Eliot 110A.
Various academic departments at Reed maintain statistical software packages that are particularly suited to the kinds of statistical analysis common in their disciplines. Economics is no exception. In addition to the general statistical packages SPSS, SAS, and Stata the Economics Department has purchased EViews, which is specifically for econometrics.
The most commonly used statistical software for Reed economics students is Stata, which is used in both Econ 311 and 312. Stata is a general-purpose statistical package that is easier to use than SAS but has more complete capabilities for non-time-series data than Eviews. Stata for the Macintosh is available on the Commercial Software folder and can be run on any of the Macs in the IRC's or in the PPW.
The largest and most comprehensive available statistical package is SAS, which runs on a UNIX platform at Reed. SAS performs most of the statistical procedures that students are likely to need, but some students find it more difficult to learn than some of the other packages. The great advantages of SAS are that it will operate on virtually unlimited numbers of observations and that it is a standard package that is used in research environments across the country. SAS runs on the UNIX server Oberon, either interactively or in batch mode.
EViews is a package that focuses specifically on procedures used by economists in the analysis of fairly small (usually time series) data sets. It is very easy to learn and is powerful enough to perform most procedures that are required. However, it maintains the user's entire data set in memory, so the number of observations and variables is limited by the amount of memory available. EViews will easily accommodate data sets of 1,000 or so observations with 100-200 variables. EViews runs under Windows on the PCs in the PPW.