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Chapter 1. Introduction to EViews 6.0

EViews is a simple, interactive econometrics package which proves many tools used in econometrics. It provides users with several convenient ways of performing analysis including a Windows and a command line interfaces. Many operations that can be implemented using menus may also be entered into the command window, or placed in programs for batch processing. The possibility of using interactive features like windows, buttons and menus makes EViews a user-friendly software.

In this chapter we briefly introduce you main features of the language, will show you the use of some important commands which will be used further in this textbook. We will start with the interactive Windows interface and then go into more detailed description about the EViews' batch processing language and advanced programming features.

1.1. Workfiles in EViews

EViews' design allows you to work with various types of data in an intuitive and convenient way. We start with the basic concepts of how to working with datasets using workfiles, and describing simple methods to get you started on creating and working with workfiles in EViews.

In the majority of cases you start your work in EViews with a workfile - a container for EViews objects. Before you perform any tasks with EViews' objects you first have to either create a new workfile or to load an existing workfile from the disc.

In order to create a new workfile you need to provide and information about its structure. Select File/New/Workfile from the main menu to open the Workfile Create dialog. On the left side of the dialog is a combo box for describing the underlying structure of your dataset. You have to choose between three options regarding the structure of your data - the Dated - regular frequency, the Unstructured, and the Balanced Panel settings. Dated - regular frequency is normally used to work with a simple time series data, Balanced Panel is used for a simple panel dataset and Unstructured options is used for all other cases.

For the Dated - regular frequency, you may choose among the following options: Annual, Semi-annual, Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly, Daily - 5 day week, Daily - 7 day week and Integer date. EViews will also ask you to enter a Start date and End date for your workfile. When you click on OK, EViews will create a regular frequency workfile with the specified number of observations and the associated identifiers.

The Unstructured data simply uses integer identifiers instead of date identifiers. You would use this type of workfile while performing a crossectional analysis. Under this option you would only need to enter the number of observations.

The Balanced Panel entry provides a method of describing a regular frequency panel data structure. Panel data is the term that we use to refer to data containing observations with both a group (cross-section) and time series identifiers. This entry may be used when you wish to create a balanced structure in which every crosssection follows the same regular frequency with the same date observations. Under this option you should specify a desired Frequency, a Start and End date, and Number of cross sections.

Another method of creating an EViews workfile is to open a non-EViews data source and to read the data into an new EViews workfile. To open a foreign data source, first select File/Open/Foreign Data as Workfile. First, EViews will open a series of dialogs asking you to describe and select data to be read. The data will be read into the new workfile, which will be resized to fit. If there is a single date series

in the data, EViews will attempt to restructure the workfile using the date series. A typical workfile view is given in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1: Workfile in EViews

Workfile in EViews

Workfiles contain the EViews objects and provide you an access to your data and tools for working with this data.

Below the title bar of a workfile is a button bar that provides you with easy access to some useful workfile operations. These buttons are simply shortcuts to items that may be accessed from the main EViews menu. Below the toolbar are two lines of status information where EViews displays the range of the workfile, the current sample (the range of observations that are to be used in calculations), and the display filter (rule used in choosing a subset of objects to display in the workfile window). You may change the range, sample, and filter by double clicking on these labels and entering the relevant information in the dialog boxes. The contents of your workfile page is provided in the workfile directory. You can find there all named objects, sorted by name, with an icon showing the object type.

Push the Save button on the workfile toolbar to save a copy of the workfile on disk. You can also save a file using the File/ Save As or File/Save choices from the main menu. By default, EViews will save your data in the EViews workfile format, the extension ".wfl". You may also choose to save the data in your workfile in a foreign data format by selecting a different format in the combo box.

When you click on the Save button, EViews will display a dialog showing the current global default options for saving the data in your workfile. You should choose between saving your series data in either Single precision or Double precision. Single precision will create smaller files on disk, but saves the data with fewer digits of accuracy (7 versus 16). You may also choose to save your data in compressed or non-compressed form.

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