Stata commands to calculate skewness

Suppose we are going to calculate the skewness of 12 monthly returns. The 12 returns may be stored in a row (Figure 1) or in a column (Figure 2). This post discusses how to calculate the skewness in these two situations. Please note there are several formulae for skewness out there, which may yield different results. This post uses the formula that yields the same skewness as the Stata command `sum var, detail` reports.

Figure 1: Returns are stored in a row

Figure 2: Returns are stored in a column

If returns are stored in a row

Stata does not provide a command to calculate the skewness in this situation. The following Stata commands will do the job.

If returns are stored in a column

Stata provides a command to calculate skewness in this situation (`egen` and `skewness`). However, the computation is extremely slow if we have millions of observations. I would suggest calculating the skewness manually as follows:

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