Getting Started: Installing Julia, Julia Studio, and Packages used in Economics

UPDATE: Julia Studio is no longer supported. Please see my more recent installation guide here.

In this post, I explain how to install Julia, Julia Studio, and 3 packages commonly used in economics on your personal computer in about 5 minutes.

Installing Julia

Unlike installing Python, it is very easy to install Julia and its packages. Simply download Julia Studio, which is the most popular IDE for Julia, and click install. This will also install the current version of the Julia language. Now, open Julia Studio. In the console, type:

julia> 2+2 

and press Enter. If it returns the number 4, you have successfully installed Julia.

Installing Packages in Julia

Next, you need to install a few packages used frequently in economics. The following command will install the Distributions package, which allows you to simulate random variables and evaluate probability distribution functions. In the console, type:

julia> Pkg.add("Distributions")

Like R but unlike Python, Julia installs packages from within Julia. Also, install the packages called “DataFrames”, which is used for working with data, and “Optim”, which contains numerical optimizers.

That’s it, you should be ready to work in Julia after about 5 minutes of installations!

Bradley J. Setzler


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