For more than two decades, RATS by Estima has been an econometrics software widely used at universities, central banks and corporations around the world. The current release, Version 9, is easier to use than ever while continuing to offer the most advanced tools available for cutting-edge econometrics research.
The following provides details of some of the key features available in RATS software:
Econometrics and Data Management
RATS provides all the basics for an econometrics software, including linear and non-linear least squares, forecasting, SUR, and ARIMA models. But it goes far beyond that, with support for techniques like GMM, ARCH and GARCH models, state space models and more. RATS also offers unmatched support for Vector Autoregression models and is one of the few programs to offer spectral analysis capabilities.
RATS can handle time series of virtually any frequency, including daily and weekly, as well as panel and cross-section data.
Menu-driven data wizards and support for reading various text, spreadsheet and database file formats make it easy to get your data into RATS. The Professional version also adds support for more database formats, including SQL/ODBC data access, for even more flexibility.
The RATS editor
The interactive RATS Editor environment allows you to quickly implement econometric analysis tasks, and makes it easy to try different model specifications or techniques without having to rerun entire programs.
You can save your work as a RATS program, allowing you to reproduce your results at any time with just a couple of mouse clicks.
The editor also offers more than 40 menu-driven Wizards that provide point-and-click access to most common tasks, including reading data, displaying graphs, performing transformations, estimating a variety of models and hypothesis testing. These help make RATS an ideal tool for new users and for use in educational settings.
When you use a Wizard, RATS displays the corresponding commands in the editor window so you can actually learn the RATS language through using the Wizards. This also allows you to use the Wizards to build complete programs that can be re-executed again later.
An often-overlooked aspect of econometric research is ensuring that results are reported accurately. RATS addresses this with a powerful report-generation feature for quickly generating accurate tables of reports, which you can export to text or spreadsheet files for direct inclusion in papers and presentations.
RATS allows you to create publication-quality time series graphs, scatter plots and contour graphs.
The command-driven language at the heart of the program remains easy to learn and use for simple jobs, but its extensive programming capabilities also allow you to handle much more complex tasks. Features include user-definable procedures and functions, looping and program control instructions, and the ability to create user-defined menus and dialogue boxes. With these capabilities, you can automate complex or repetitive tasks, and even write sophisticated menu- and dialogue-driven end-user applications.
All versions of RATS also offer "batch mode" operation. You can run jobs several ways: from the command line; by dragging and dropping files; or by double-clicking on a desktop icon. This is especially helpful for users who need to run the same jobs on a regular basis.
RATS and RATS Pro Version
Two "levels" of RATS software available: the Standard, simply called RATS, and an enhanced version known as RATS Professional.
The two versions are identical in most respects, including interface, execution speed, memory handling and general capabilities.
However, the Professional version adds the following features not found in the Standard version:
- Includes a 64-bit version for use with 64-bit operating systems. 32-bit executables (included with both Standard and Pro) will run properly on 64-bit operating systems but can take advantage of the ability of the 64-bit executable to address more than 2 GB of workspace.
- Support for reading databases via ODBC/SQL.
- An additional instruction (called X11) implementing the Census Bureaus X11/X12-ARIMA seasonal adjustment routines.
- Support for reading and writing FAME data files (requires FAME software).
- Support for reading CRSP data files.
- Direct access to the FRED database via an internet connection.
- Support for reading and writing Haver DLX format data files.
CATS (Cointegration Analysis of Time Series) is a set of cointegration analysis procedures written by Jonathan G. Dennis, Katarina Juselius, Sören Johansen and Henrik Hansen of the University of Copenhagen for use with our RATS software.
CATS provides a wide variety of tools for analysing your data and choosing and testing a cointegration model. The program is almost completely menu- and dialogue-driven. You begin by running a short RATS program to define your data and load the CATS procedure. This adds several CATS menus to the RATS menu bar, and you perform your analysis by selecting operations from these menus. CATS will prompt you for any needed input.
RATS Version 9 is now available. This is the end of a multi-year update cycle that has included the many additions that came with versions 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3.
- RATS 9 has added more information in the Users Guide chapters on "ARCH/GARCH and related models", "Threshold, Breaks and Switching" and "Cross Section and Panel Data".
- This partly reflects the fact that these were the topics of Estima’s three most recent e-courses, and the garch and panel data instructions saw quite a bit of change as a result. Also garch and the regime-switching models can often require a bit of care to get reasonable results (or results at all), which has produced many of our technical questions in recent years.
- The online help feature has been completely revised. It now has the full content of theReference Manual, with some important extras: over 100 of the most important procedures with a full description of syntax and examples. It is also fully linked up with cross-references for ease of use.
- The GARCH wizard has been split into separate wizards for univariate and multivariate models. A new wizard for handling estimation of cointegration models provides easy-to-use access to the @JOHMLE, @FM and @SWDOLS procedures.
- File-Properties shows the full file name of an open file (in a form where you can easily copy and paste). This can be handy when you have long paths so the name gets truncated.
- Help-News... gets a "news feed" off the Estima website with links to updated information.
- With version 8.3, Estima replaced the editor which actually runs most of the program with a new public domain editor called Scintilla. This adds the ability to put markers at locations in your program and includes "regular expressions" for more sophisticated searches. A few oddities in its operation (particularly skipping lines if you hold down the Enter key) have been corrected with version 9.
- Another important change with v8.3 that’s even better with v9 is Find in Files. This allows you to search for a string (or "regular expression") across the full set of example programs so you can quickly locate example programs that use DLM or do a BEKK GARCH or an SPGRAPH,etc. It gives a huge boost to your productivity.
- The most important change to the program itself is that you can now pass functions as parameters and options.This was a big hole in the RATS programming language.
- Estima introduced the HASH and LIST aggregators with version 8.2, but with version 9, they’ve added enough support to these to make them truly useful. These have been added to the documentation and examples of their use is now included.
- The diagnostics for attempts to access out-of-range array elements have been improved, pointing you towards the likely source. You also now get better information about mistyped identifiers, as the program will list possible near-matches.
Changes to Instructions
- You can now write data to XLSX and not just XLS. This applies to any instruction which writes data and to the export operations from REPORT windows.
- SPGRAPH can now put keys out the outside of a matrix of graphs.
- The GARCH instruction adds the new option VARIANCES=KOUTMOS to compute the univariatevariances for cc and dcc models using the egarch formulation from Koutmos(1996) "Modeling the Dynamic Interdependence of Major European Stock Markets", Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, vol 23, 975-988. It also adds the STDRESIDS option for computing standardized residuals (univariate or jointly standardized multivariate).
- IMPULSE has a new FLATTEN option for more easily saving into %%RESPONSES in Monte Carlo methods. Its FACTOR option can accept reduced numbers of columns (shocks), which makes it easier to handle situations where you are particularly interested in only a subset of the structural shocks.
- HEIGHT and WIDTH have been added to GRPARM to allow standardized sizing of graphs.
- GRAPH has a new SERIES option which can take a VECTOR of SERIES or a VECT[INTEGER] with series handles as input. This is particularly handy for doing graphics in Vector Autoregressions, where the number of graphs needed can change from application to application.
- The DATA instruction adds the new option ORG=MULTILINE which allows you to pull data out of a spreadsheet file when a particular series occupies a block of rows.
You can also see an archive of new features for previous releases via the Estima website here.
WinRATS runs on all recent versions of Windows, including Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP, in either 32-bit or 64-bit. Here are the minimum system requirements:
- A PC with a Pentium or later processor
- Memory requirements will depend largely on the size of the data sets you need to work with. You will need approximately 1 Megabyte of RAM for every 128,000 data points. The RATS program itself is fairly compact and only requires about 1 Megabyte of RAM to load
- A hard disk drive with at least 175Mb of free disk space (for a full installation, including all examples, procedures and documentation)
- Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP
MacRATS is a "Universal" OS X application, which means that it runs natively on both Intel-based Macs and on older Power PC-based Macs. Note that it requires version 10.5 or later of OS X
- Any Macintosh capable for running OS X 10.5 or later
- Both Power PC and Intel CPU’s are supported natively
- OS X 10.5 or later
- Memory requirements will depend largely on the size of the data sets you need to work with. You will need approximately 1 Megabyte of RAM for every 128,000 data points. The RATS program itself is fairly compact, and only requires about 1 Megabyte of RAM to load
- a hard disk drive with at least 175Mb of free disk space (for a full installation, including all examples, procedures and documentation)
UNIX & Linux
- Processor: virtually any CPU running UNIX; Intel Pentium-based or later PC running Linux; a Macintosh running Mac OS X (Power PC or Intel CPU)
- an ANSI-standard C/C++ compiler (optional for Linux)
- X Windows and Motif libraries (not required for batch mode operation)
- A CD-ROM drive
- Disk Space: 100Mb of available space for a full installation
- Memory Requirements: depends largely on the size of the data sets that will be used
RATS is available as a full version to students with a 20% discount on the academic price.