How To / STATA: Calculate Variables for Groups of Observations

In management research, we usually need to create a variable that measures the experience of firms. Firms accumulate experience as they make acquisitions or invest in companies in certain countries. Sometimes this experience has an effect in future decisions, so we calculate variables that measure the number of times a firm has made an acquisition or has invested in a certain industry or country. In STATA, this can be done using the command -bysort- and -gen- (i.e. -generate-) or -egen-. In this post I will calculate an experience variable using a fictitious dataset.

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How To / STATA: Check if a File Exists Before Opening It

The STATA’s command -capture- allows you to check if the file that you are trying to open exists. This command evaluates whether or not the file is in the folder you are using. Then, -capture- assigns a value to the macro _rc depending on whether the file is in the folder or not. Therefore, we can use the value of _rc to continue with our STATA’s script.

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How To: Extract Highlighted Text from a PDF File

Some people enjoy reading on paper not only because they can make annotations and highlight text easily, but also because they actually like their handwriting. If you are not one of those, then the following guide may help you. I will show how to extract all the highlighted text and the annotations from a PDF using Acrobat Professional. I did an extensive research (i.e. I tried many different keywords in Google!) before understanding how to extract the annotations from a PDF file. I did not find too many useful articles on the internet. It turned to be an easier process than what most of the site I visited described, so I hope that Google ranks this page well!

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Send Starred Articles from Google Reader to Evernote

From time to time I discover interesting articles in Google Reader. I mark with a start those articles that I want to read later or store for future re-reading. Since I use Evernote to organize my notes, I was happy when I found that you can setup a simply process to send the starred items in Google Reader to your Evernote account. That is what IFTTT can do for you.

IFTTT lets you create “if X then Y” statements, in which X and Y are actions or events related to some internet services. In the case of my starred articles in Google Reader, I have the following recipe:

If “an item is starred in Google Reader” then “send it as a new note in Evernote”.

You can find a lot of recipes already created in IFTTT, so you may want to take a look at its website.