2.1 Installing R

R is an open-source (i.e. free) alternative to Stata, rapidly growing in popularity. Normally, R is used in conjunction with RStudio, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that streamlines the effective use of the software. We are going to install both of these programs now.

R has a steeper learning curve than Stata, but the initial difficulty in learning R is offset by the greater degree of flexibility and capability achievable with the language with more advanced use (i.e. this guide was written and is maintained entirely through R!). Note also that R is in growing demand in both academia and ‘industry’ and will be a highly useful skill for your arsenal.

The first thing you will need to do is install R from https://cran.r-project.org/ . Under ‘Download and Install R’, select your operating system (e.g. Mac/Windows) and then select ‘base’. This should give you an .exe file to run.

Once you have installed R on your computer, you will want to then download RStudio Desktop from https://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio/download .