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 10.0, 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.
Cross Platform Support
RATS is available for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and Linux, with complete compatibility across platforms. You can share programs, data files, output, and graph files across any of these platforms with no translation required.
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 10.0 is now available. The new versions have substantially more clickable links, both within the manuals themselves, and also to the help on the web site, which now includes detailed descriptions of most of the procedures. The main changes to the program with 10.0 vs 9.2 are shown below. (Changes that came in earlier are listed further down on the page).
RATS Version 10.0
- CALENDAR now allows for irregular input dates to handle daily data with skipped entries for holidays while maintaining the ability to use dates on input and output. The DATA instruction has a JULIAN option which pulls that information from a date column on the file, while several new functions will compute the required information from information coded in other ways (such as separate year, month and day fields on the file). In particular, GRAPH can now show dates on graphs with irregular dated data.
- The Data (Other Formats) Wizard now includes handling for name overrides if the name on the file isn't permitted by RATS (for instance, name fields with blanks) or is long or cryptic. The Box-Jenkins (ARIMA), ARCH/GARCH(Univariate) and ARCH/GARCH(Multivariate) Wizards have all been converted to use tabs to reduce clutter.
- GARCH allows DISTRIB=GED on multivariate models (not just univariate) and adds the DCC and QBAR options to control the secondary recursion for the DCC model.
- ERRORS, IMPULSE and HISTORY, which require fully linear models for their calculations, will now accept models with simple FRML's if those are in a\ linear form (typically for identities which are often easier to write as FRML's).
- HISTORY has new BASE and EFFECTS options which are an easier-to-use way to obtain the breakdown of the historical decomposition.
RATS Version 9.2
- The process for re-defining graphics styles are been dramatically simplified.
- Windows versions can export graphs in WMF format with dotted and dashed lines, and can now also export in PNG.
- It generally runs about 5-40% faster that previous releases.
- Two new optimization methods (Simulated Annealing and Genetic Annealing) have been added for non-linear estimation. These can be helpful in dealing with particularly difficult problems, as they do a very broad search of the parameter space.
- Pseudo-code Generators has been added for two common loop types: Monte Carlo/Gibbs loops and Rolling Sample loops. These generate the framework for a loop.
- The New Project Wizard can assist with starting a new project (program file)
- IEdit-Prettify indents DO and DOFOR loops to make a program more readable.
- The GARCH instruction has several enhancements. You can now estimate MODEL's for embedded Error Correction Terms. The XBEKK option has been added to control GARCH-X handling in BEKK models. The DENSITY and PARMSET options allow you to override the standard likelihood density functions.
- RTF (Rich Text Format) is now available as an export format for reports.
- Error-correction models (VECM's) created using SYSTEM with ECT can be used much more flexibly.
- Functions have been added for various "remapping" matrix operations, such as %DNN for the "duplication" matrix that takes a lower-triangular SYMMETRIC matrix to a full RECTANGULAR matrix
RATS Version 9.1
- FRED is now included in all levels of the software, not just Pro, and there's now a separate browser for the wide range of other databases included on the FRED web site.
- You can now download the entire OECD MEI database directly to your computer.
- PDF is now available as an export format for graphics which can be used on the Save As... or Export... menu operations, or as a format in GSAVE.
- Data can be read directly from web sites if the URL can produce a file image in a proper format.
- DATA can read data in reversed-time order (most recent at the top or left) and rearrange it to run in the standard direction.
- Stata .dta native formats for their versions 13 and 14 can now be read properly.
RATS Version 9.0
Version 9.0 was the end of a multi-year update cycle which has included the many additions that came with versions 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3.
- 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 10, 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 200Mb of free disk space (for a full installation, including all examples, procedures, and documentation)
- Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP
MacRATS requires an Intel-based Mac and requires version 10.9 or later of OS X. It has been tested with all OS X upgrades through High Sierra (10.13).
- Any Macintosh capable for running OS X 10.9 or later
- OS X 10.9 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
- an ANSI-standard C/C++ compiler (optional for Linux if you get executable only)
- GTK libraries (not required for batch mode operation)
- Disk Space: 250Mb of available space for a full installation, including documentation and examples
- 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.