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The Stata Journal
Volume 17 Number 2: pp. 490-502

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Rate decomposition for aggregate data using Das Gupta's method

Jinjing Li
National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis
University of Canberra
Bruce, Australia
Abstract.  Social, behavioral, and health scientists frequently decompose changes or differences in outcome variables into components of change and assess their relative importance. Many Stata commands facilitate this exercise using unit-level data, notably by applying the Blinder–Oaxaca approach. However, none of the comparable user-written commands decompose changes or differences in aggregate data despite their availability and the widespread use of corresponding decomposition techniques. In this article, I present the user-written command rdecompose, which decomposes aggregate or cross-classified data based on Das Gupta's (1993, Standardization and Decomposition of Rates: A User’s Manual, Volume 1) approach, and demonstrate its application in multiple settings. This command extends the original method by allowing multiple factors and flexible functional specifications.
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