Contents
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C.4
Buildandinstall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
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Numericalaccuracy
362
E
Relatedfreesoftware
363
F
ListingofURLs
364
Bibliography
365
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Chapter1
Introduction
1.1 Featuresataglance
Gretlisaneconometricspackage,includingasharedlibrary,acommand-lineclientprogramanda
graphicaluserinterface.
User-friendly Gretl l offers an intuitiveuser r interface; ; it t isvery easyto o getupand running with
econometric analysis. . Thanks s to its association withtheeconometricstextbooks byRamu
Ramanathan,JeffreyWooldridge,andJamesStockandMarkWatson,thepackageoffersmany
practicedatafilesandcommandscripts.Thesearewellannotatedandaccessible. Twoother
usefulresourcesforgretlusersaretheavailabledocumentationandthegretl-usersmailing
list.
Flexible Youcanchooseyourpreferredpointonthespectrumfrominteractivepoint-and-clickto
complexscripting,andcaneasilycombinetheseapproaches.
Cross-platform Gretl’s“home”platformisLinuxbutitisalsoavailableforMSWindowsandMac
OSX, andshouldworkonanyunix-likesystemthathastheappropriatebasic libraries(see
AppendixC).
Opensource Thefullsourcecodeforgretlisavailabletoanyonewhowantstocritiqueit,patchit,
orextendit.SeeAppendixC.
Sophisticated Gretloffersafullrangeofleast-squaresbasedestimators,eitherforsingleequations
andfor systems, includingvectorautoregressions andvector errorcorrectionmodels. . Sev-
eralspecificmaximumlikelihoodestimators (e.g.probit, ARIMA,GARCH)arealso provided
natively; more advanced d estimation methods can be implemented by the user via generic
maximumlikelihoodornonlinearGMM.
Extensible Userscanenhancegretlbywritingtheirownfunctionsandproceduresingretl’sscript-
inglanguage,whichincludesawiderangeofmatrixfunctions.
Accurate Gretlhasbeenthoroughlytestedonseveralbenchmarks,among g whichtheNISTrefer-
encedatasets.SeeAppendixD.
Internetready Gretlcanfetchmaterialssuchdatabases,collectionsoftextbookdatafilesandadd-
onpackagesovertheinternet.
International GretlwillproduceitsoutputinEnglish,French,Italian,Spanish,Polish,Portuguese,
German,Basque,Turkish,Russian,AlbanianorGreekdependingonyour computer’snative
languagesetting.
1.2 Acknowledgements
Thegretlcode baseoriginallyderived from theprogram ESL (“Econometrics s Software e Library”),
writtenbyProfessorRamuRamanathanoftheUniversityofCalifornia,SanDiego. Wearemuchin
debttoProfessorRamanathanformakingthiscodeavailableundertheGNUGeneralPublicLicence
andforhelpingtosteergretl’searlydevelopment.
1
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Chapter1. Introduction
2
Wearealsogratefultotheauthorsofseveraleconometricstextbooksforpermissiontopackagefor
gretlvariousdatasetsassociatedwiththeirtexts. ThislistcurrentlyincludesWilliamGreene,au-
thorofEconometricAnalysis;JeffreyWooldridge(IntroductoryEconometrics: AModernApproach);
James Stock andMark Watson(IntroductiontoEconometrics);DamodarGujarati(BasicEconomet-
rics); RussellDavidsonandJamesMacKinnon(EconometricTheoryandMethods);andMarnoVer-
beek(AGuidetoModernEconometrics).
GARCHestimation ingretlis based on code deposited inthe archive of theJournal ofApplied
EconometricsbyProfessorsFiorentini,CalzolariandPanattoni,andthecodetogeneratep-values
forDickey–FullertestsisduetoJamesMacKinnon. Ineachcasewearegratefultotheauthorsfor
permissiontousetheirwork.
Withregard to theinternationalization of gretl, thanksgo toIgnacio Díaz-Emparanza(Spanish),
MichelRobitailleandFlorentBresson(French),CristianRigamonti(Italian),TadeuszKufelandPawel
Kufel(Polish),MarkusHahnandSvenSchreiber(German),HélioGuilhermeandHenriqueAndrade
(Portuguese),SusanOrbe(Basque),TalhaYalta(Turkish)andAlexanderGedranovich(Russian).
Gretlhasbenefittedgreatlyfromtheworkofnumerousdevelopersoffree,open-sourcesoftware:
forspecificspleaseseeAppendixC.OurthanksareduetoRichardStallmanoftheFreeSoftware
Foundation,forhissupportoffreesoftwareingeneralandforagreeingto“adopt”gretlasaGNU
programinparticular.
Manyusersofgretlhavesubmittedusefulsuggestions andbugreports. . Inthisconnectionpar-
ticular thanks aredue e to Ignacio Díaz-Emparanza, Tadeusz Kufel, Pawel l Kufel, Alan Isaac, Cri
Rigamonti,SvenSchreiber,TalhaYalta,AndreasRosenblad,andDirkEddelbuettel,whomaintains
thegretlpackageforDebianGNU/Linux.
1.3 Installingtheprograms
Linux
OntheLinux
1
platformyouhavethechoiceofcompilingthegretlcodeyourselformakinguseofa
pre-builtpackage.Buildinggretlfromthesourceisnecessaryifyouwanttoaccessthedevelopment
versionorcustomizegretltoyourneeds,butthistakesquiteafewskills;mostuserswillwantto
goforapre-builtpackage.
SomeLinuxdistributionsfeaturegretlaspartoftheirstandardoffering: Debian,UbuntuandFe-
dora, for example. . If f this s is thecase, allyou u need to o do is install l gretl through your package
manager ofchoice. . Inadditionthegretlwebpageathttp://gretl.sourceforge.net offers s a
“generic”packageinrpmformatformodernLinuxsystems.
Ifyouprefertocompileyourown(orareusingaunixsystemforwhichpre-builtpackagesarenot
available),instructionsonbuildinggretlcanbefoundinAppendixC.
MSWindows
TheMS Windows s version comes as a a self-extracting executable. . Installation n is just amatter of
downloadinggretl_install.exeandrunningthisprogram.Youwillbepromptedforalocation
toinstallthepackage.
MacOSX
TheMacversioncomesasagzippeddiskimage.Installationisamatterofdownloadingtheimage
file,openingitintheFinder,anddraggingGretl.apptotheApplicationsfolder. However,when
installingforthefirsttimetwoprerequisitepackagesmustbeputinplacefirst;detailsaregiven
onthegretlwebsite.
1
Inthismanualweuse“Linux”asshorthandtorefertotheGNU/Linuxoperatingsystem. Whatissaidhereinabout
Linuxmostlyappliestootherunix-typesystemstoo,thoughsomelocalmodificationsmaybeneeded.
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PartI
Runningtheprogram
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Chapter2
Gettingstarted
2.1 Let’srunaregression
This introduction ismostlyangledtowardsthegraphicalclient program; ; pleaseseeChapter 43
belowandtheGretlCommandReferencefordetailsonthecommand-lineprogram,gretlcli.
Youcansupplythenameofadatafiletoopenasanargumenttogretl,butforthemomentlet’s
notdothat:justfireuptheprogram.
1
Youshouldseeamainwindow(whichwillholdinformation
onthedatasetbutwhichisatfirstblank)andvariousmenus,someofthemdisabledatfirst.
Whatcanyoudoatthispoint? Youcanbrowsethesupplieddatafiles(ordatabases),openadata
file,createanewdatafile,readthehelpitems,oropenacommandscript.Fornowlet’sbrowsethe
supplieddatafiles.UndertheFilemenuchoose“Opendata,Samplefile”.Asecondnotebook-type
windowwillopen,presentingthesetsofdatafilessuppliedwiththepackage(seeFigure2.1).Select
thefirsttab,“Ramanathan”. Thenumberingofthefilesinthissectioncorrespondstothechapter
organizationofRamanathan(2002),whichcontainsdiscussionoftheanalysisofthesedata. The
datawillbeusefulforpracticepurposesevenwithoutthetext.
Figure2.1:Practicedatafileswindow
Ifyouselectarowinthiswindowandclickon“Info”thisopensawindowshowinginformationon
thedatasetinquestion(forexample,onthesourcesanddefinitionsofthevariables). Ifyoufind
afilethatisofinterest,youmayopenitbyclickingon“Open”,orjustdouble-clickingonthefile
name.Forthemomentlet’sopendata3-6.
+
Ingretlwindowscontaininglists,double-clickingonalinelaunchesadefaultactionfortheassociatedlist
entry:e.g.displayingthevaluesofadataseries,openingafile.
1For convenience we refer tothegraphicalclientprogramsimplyasgretlin thismanual. . Note,however,thatthe
specific name of the program differs accordingto the computer platform. . On n Linux itiscalled d gretl_x11 while on
MS Windows itis gretl.exe. . On n Linuxsystems awrapper scriptnamed gretlis alsoinstalled — — seealso o the Gretl
CommandReference.
4
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Chapter2. Gettingstarted
5
Thisfilecontains datapertainingtoaclassiceconometric“chestnut”,theconsumptionfunction.
Thedatawindowshouldnowdisplaythenameofthecurrentdatafile,theoveralldatarangeand
samplerange,andthenamesofthevariablesalongwithbriefdescriptivetags—seeFigure2.2.
Figure2.2:Mainwindow,withapracticedatafileopen
OK,whatcanwedonow?Hopefullythevariousmenuoptionsshouldbefairlyselfexplanatory.For
nowwe’lldipintotheModelmenu;abrieftourofallthemainwindowmenusisgiveninSection2.3
below.
Gretl’s Modelmenuoffers numerous various econometricestimationroutines. . Thesimplestand
most standard is OrdinaryLeastSquares(OLS).SelectingOLSpopsupadialogboxcallingfor r a
modelspecification—seeFigure2.3.
Figure2.3: Modelspecificationdialog
Toselectthedependentvariable,highlightthevariableyouwantinthelistontheleftandclick
thearrowthatpoints to theDependentvariableslot. . If f you check the“Setas default”boxthis
variablewillbepre-selected asdependentwhenyou next openthemodeldialog box. . Shortcut:
double-clickingonavariableontheleftselectsitasdependentandalsosetsitasthedefault. To
selectindependentvariables,highlightthemontheleftandclickthegreenarrow(orright-clickthe
Chapter2. Gettingstarted
6
highlightedvariable);toremovevariablesfromtheselectedlist,usetheradarrow.Toselectseveral
variableinthelistbox,dragthemouseoverthem;toselectseveralnon-contiguousvariables,hold
downtheCtrlkeyandclickonthevariablesyouwant. Torunaregressionwithconsumptionas
thedependentvariableandincomeasindependent,clickCtintotheDependentslotandaddYtto
theIndependentvariableslist.
2.2 Estimationoutput
Onceyou’vespecifiedamodel,awindowdisplayingtheregressionoutputwillappear. Theoutput
isreasonablycomprehensiveandinastandardformat(Figure2.4).
Figure2.4:Modeloutputwindow
Theoutputwindowcontains menusthat allow you to inspect or graph the e residuals s andfitted
values,andtorunvariousdiagnostictestsonthemodel.
FormostmodelsthereisalsoanoptiontoprinttheregressionoutputinLAT
E
Xformat. SeeChap-
ter35fordetails.
To importgretloutputinto awordprocessor, youmaycopyandpastefromanoutputwindow,
usingitsEditmenu(orCopybutton,insomecontexts)tothetargetprogram. Many(notall)gretl
windowsoffertheoptionofcopyinginRTF(Microsoft’s“RichTextFormat”)orasL
A
T
E
X. Ifyouare
pastingintoawordprocessor, RTFmaybeagoodoptionbecausethetabular formattingofthe
outputispreserved.Alternatively, youcansavetheoutputtoa(plaintext)filethenimportthe
fileintothetargetprogram. Whenyoufinishagretlsessionyouaregiventheoptionofsavingall
theoutputfromthesessiontoasinglefile.
Notethatonthegnomedesktopandunder MSWindows, theFilemenu u includesacommandto
sendtheoutputdirectlytoaprinter.
+
Whenpastingorimportingplaintextgretloutputintoawordprocessor,selectamonospacedortypewriter-
stylefont(e.g. Courier)to preservetheoutput’s tabular formatting. . Select t asmall font(10-pointCourier
shoulddo)topreventtheoutputlinesfrombeingbrokeninthewrongplace.
2Note that when youcopyas RTFunder MS Windows, , Windowswill onlyallowyou u topaste the material into ap-
plications that“understand”RTF.Thus you will be able topaste into MS Word,butnotinto notepad. . Note e alsothat
there appearsto bea bugin someversionsof Windows,wherebythepastewillnotworkproperlyunlessthe“target”
application(e.g.MSWord)isalreadyrunningpriortocopyingthematerialinquestion.
Chapter2. Gettingstarted
7
2.3 Themainwindowmenus
Readinglefttorightalongthemainwindow’smenubar,wefindtheFile,Tools,Data,View,Add,
Sample,Variable,ModelandHelpmenus.
 Filemenu
– Opendata:Openanativegretldatafileorimportfromotherformats.SeeChapter4.
– Appenddata: : Adddatatothecurrentworkingdataset,fromagretldatafile,acomma-
separatedvaluesfileoraspreadsheetfile.
– Savedata:Savethecurrentlyopennativegretldatafile.
– Save e dataas: : Writeoutthecurrentdatasetinnativeformat, , withtheoptionofusing
gzipdatacompression.SeeChapter4.
– Exportdata: : WriteoutthecurrentdatasetinCommaSeparatedValues(CSV)format,or
theformatsofGNURorGNUOctave. SeeChapter4andalsoAppendixE.
– Sendto:Sendthecurrentdatasetasane-mailattachment.
– New data a set: : Allowsyouto o createablank data a set,readyfortyping invalues s or for
importingseriesfromadatabase.Seebelowformoreondatabases.
– Cleardataset: : Clearthecurrentdatasetoutofmemory. Generallyyoudon’thavetodo
this(sinceopeninganewdatafileautomaticallyclearstheoldone)butsometimesit’s
useful.
– Script files: : A A “script” ” is s a a file containing a sequenceof gretlcommands. . This s item
containsentriesthatletyouopenascriptyouhavecreatedpreviously(“Userfile”),open
asamplescript,oropenaneditorwindowinwhichyoucancreateanewscript.
– Sessionfiles: : A“session”filecontainsasnapshotofapreviousgretlsession,including
thedatasetusedand any modelsor graphs thatyou saved. . Underthis s itemyoucan
openasavedsessionorsavethecurrentsession.
– Databases: : Allowsyoutobrowsevariouslargedatabases,eitheronyourowncomputer
or,ifyouareconnectedtotheinternet,onthegretldatabaseserver.SeeSection4.2for
details.
– Exit:Quittheprogram.You’llbepromptedtosaveanyunsavedwork.
 Toolsmenu
– Statistical tables: : Look k upcritical values s for commonlyused distributions (normalor
Gaussian,t,chi-square,FandDurbin–Watson).
– P-valuefinder: : Lookupp-valuesfromtheGaussian,t,chi-square,F,gamma,binomialor
Poissondistributions.SeealsothepvaluecommandintheGretlCommandReference.
– Distributiongraphs:Producegraphsofvariousprobabilitydistributions.Intheresulting
graphwindow, thepop-upmenuincludesanitem“Addanothercurve”, whichenables
youto superimposeafurther plot(for example, , you u candrawthedistribution with
variousdifferentdegreesoffreedom).
– Teststatisticcalculator:Calculateteststatisticsandp-valuesforarangeofcommonhy-
pothesistests(populationmean,varianceandproportion;differenceofmeans,variances
andproportions).
– Nonparametrictests: : Calculateteststatisticsforvariousnonparametrictests(Signtest,
Wilcoxonranksumtest,Wilcoxonsignedranktest,Runstest).
– Seedforrandomnumbers: : Settheseedfor r therandomnumber generator (bydefault
thisissetbasedonthesystemtimewhentheprogramisstarted).
Chapter2. Gettingstarted
8
– Commandlog:Openawindowcontainingarecordofthecommandsexecutedsofar.
– Gretlconsole:Opena“console”windowintowhichyoucantypecommandsasyouwould
usingthecommand-lineprogram,gretlcli(asopposedtousingpoint-and-click).
– StartGnuR:StartR(ifitis s installedonyour system), and loada a copyof thedataset
currentlyopeningretl.SeeAppendixE.
– Sortvariables:Rearrangethelistingofvariablesinthemainwindow,eitherbyIDnumber
oralphabeticallybyname.
– Functionpackages: Handles“functionpackages”(seeSection13.5),whichallowyouto
accessfunctionswrittenbyotherusersandsharetheoneswrittenbyyou.
– NISTtestsuite: Check k thenumericalaccuracyofgretlagainstthereferenceresultsfor
linearregressionmadeavailablebythe(US)NationalInstituteofStandardsandTechnol-
ogy.
– Preferences:Setthepathstovariousfilesgretlneedstoaccess.Choosethefontinwhich
gretldisplaystextoutput. Activateorsuppressgretl’smessagingabouttheavailability
ofprogramupdates,andsoon.SeetheGretlCommandReferenceforfurtherdetails.
 Datamenu
– Selectall: : Severalmenuitemsactuponthosevariablesthatarecurrentlyselectedinthe
mainwindow.Thisitemletsyouselectallthevariables.
– Displayvalues: : Popsupawindowwithasimple(noteditable)printoutofthevaluesof
theselectedvariableorvariables.
– Editvalues: Opensaspreadsheetwindowwhereyoucaneditthevaluesoftheselected
variables.
– Addobservations:Givesadialogboxinwhichyoucanchooseanumberofobservations
toaddattheendofthecurrentdataset;forusewithforecasting.
– Removeextraobservations:Activeonlyifextraobservationshavebeenaddedautomati-
callyintheprocessofforecasting;deletestheseextraobservations.
– Readinfo,Editinfo: “Readinfo”justdisplaysthesummaryinformationforthecurrent
datafile;“Editinfo”allowsyoutomakechangestoit(ifyouhavepermissiontodoso).
– Printdescription: Opensawindowcontainingafullaccountofthecurrentdataset,in-
cludingthesummaryinformationandanyspecificinformationoneachofthevariables.
– Addcasemarkers: Promptsforthenameofatextfilecontaining“casemarkers”(short
stringsidentifyingtheindividualobservations)andaddsthisinformationtothedataset.
SeeChapter4.
– Removecasemarkers: : Activeonlyifthedatasethascasemarkersidentifyingtheobser-
vations;removesthesecasemarkers.
– Datasetstructure: : invokesaseriesofdialogboxeswhichallowyoutochangethestruc-
turalinterpretationofthecurrentdataset. Forexample,ifdatawerereadinasacross
sectionyoucangettheprogramtointerpretthemastimeseriesorasapanel. Seealso
section4.4.
– Compactdata:Fortime-seriesdataofhigherthanannualfrequency,givesyoutheoption
ofcompactingthe datato o a a lower r frequency, using oneoffour compaction n methods
(average,sum,startofperiodorendofperiod).
– Expanddata:Fortime-seriesdata,givesyoutheoptionofexpandingthedatatoahigher
frequency.
– Transposedata: : Turneachobservationintoavariableandviceversa(orinotherwords,
eachrowofthedatamatrixbecomesacolumninthemodifieddatamatrix);canbeuseful
withimporteddatathathavebeenreadin“sideways”.
 Viewmenu
Chapter2. Gettingstarted
9
– Iconview:Opensawindowshowingthecontentofthecurrentsessionasasetoficons;
seesection3.4.
– Graph h specified vars: : Gives s achoice e between atimeseries s plot, , aregular r X–Y scatter
plot,anX–Yplotusingimpulses(verticalbars),anX–Yplot“withfactorseparation”(i.e.
withthepointscoloreddifferentlydependingto thevalueofagivendummyvariable),
boxplots, and a3-Dgraph. . Serves s upa a dialogboxwhereyouspecifythevariables s to
graph.SeeChapter6fordetails.
– Multiplegraphs: : Allowsyoutocomposeasetofuptosixsmallgraphs,eitherpairwise
scatter-plotsortime-seriesgraphs.Thesearedisplayedtogetherinasinglewindow.
– Summarystatistics: : Showsafullsetofdescriptivestatisticsforthevariablesselectedin
themainwindow.
– Correlationmatrix:Showsthepairwisecorrelationcoefficientsfortheselectedvariables.
– CrossTabulation: : Showsacross-tabulationoftheselectedvariables. Thisworksonlyif
atleasttwovariablesinthedatasethavebeenmarkedasdiscrete(seeChapter11).
– Principalcomponents: Produces s aPrincipalComponents Analysisfortheselectedvari-
ables.
– Mahalanobis distances: : Computes s theMahalanobis distanceofeach observationfrom
thecentroidoftheselectedsetofvariables.
– Cross-correlogram: : Computes s andgraphsthecross-correlogramfor two selectedvari-
ables.
 AddmenuOffersvariousstandardtransformationsofvariables(logs,lags,squares,etc.)that
youmaywishtoaddtothedataset. Alsogivestheoptionofaddingrandomvariables,and
(for time-seriesdata)addingseasonaldummyvariables(e.g.quarterlydummyvariablesfor
quarterlydata).
 Samplemenu
– Setrange: : Selectadifferentstartingand/orendingpointforthecurrentsample,within
therangeofdataavailable.
– Restorefullrange:self-explanatory.
– Define,basedondummy: : Givenadummy(indicator) ) variablewithvalues0or r 1, this
dropsfromthecurrentsampleallobservationsforwhichthedummyvariablehasvalue
0.
– Restrict,basedoncriterion: : Similartotheitemabove,exceptthatyoudon’tneedapre-
definedvariable: yousupplyaBooleanexpression(e.g.sqft t > > 1400)andthesampleis
restrictedtoobservationssatisfyingthatcondition. SeetheentryforgenrintheGretl
CommandReferencefordetailsontheBooleanoperatorsthatcanbeused.
– Randomsub-sample:Drawarandomsamplefromthefulldataset.
– Drop p all obs s with missing values: : Dropfromthe e current sampleall observations s for
whichatleastonevariablehasamissingvalue(seeSection4.6).
– Countmissingvalues:Giveareportonobservationswheredatavaluesaremissing. . May
beusefulinexaminingapaneldataset,whereit’squitecommontoencountermissing
values.
– Setmissingvaluecode:Setanumericalvaluethatwillbeinterpretedas“missing”or“not
available”. Thisisintendedforusewithimporteddata,whengretlhasnotrecognized
themissing-valuecodeused.
 Variable e menuMostitems under r hereoperateona a singlevariableat atime. . The“active”
variableissetbyhighlightingit(clickingonitsrow)inthemaindatawindow. Mostoptions
willbeself-explanatory.Notethatyoucanrenameavariableandcanedititsdescriptivelabel
under “Editattributes”. . Youcanalso o “Defineanew w variable”viaa formula(e.g. involving
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