I’ve been playing around with the R package texreg for creating combined regression tables for multiple models. It’s not the only package to do that – see here for a review – but it’s often handy to be able to generate both ascii art, latex, and html versions of the same table using almost identical syntax. Also, the ascii art creating *screenreg* function allows me to bypass the pdf construction cycle I previously described here. The coefficient plots from *plotreg* are pretty cool too.

This post is about making the variables listed in those combined regression tables more readable. That is particularly important when data comes from variable-mangling statistical software or from co-authors whose idea of a descriptive name could pass for an online banking password. Even R will cheerfully mash up your carefully chosen variable names through formulas, factors, and interactions. So for work people are going to see, variables should have sensible names.

First I’ll walk through the existing *texreg* machinery for renaming, omitting, and reordering variables, and then propose a hopefully more intuitive implementation. I’ll demonstrate all this using *screenreg* on a classic data set on job prestige.

Continue reading “Call them what you will”