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st: Imputing values for categorical data


From   Jennifer Wolfe Borum <jjfrog@bellsouth.net>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: Imputing values for categorical data
Date   Thu, 8 Apr 2004 18:50:21 -0400

Hello,

I am working with a data set composed of responses to survey questions which contains some categorical variables such as gender and ethnicity. The data has missing values and I have decided that it would be best to keep all observations due to a pattern in the missing values. I have decided to use the impute command in Stata to handle this as I've had some difficulty and am not familiar enough with the hotdeck and Amelia imputations. I've found that impute works fine for the continuous variables, however for the categorical variables I am obtaining values for which I am unsure how to interpret. For example, I will get an imputed value of .35621 for gender which is coded 1 or 0. Would anyone be able to help with the interpretation of the values I am obtaining for the categorical data?

Also, I would be interested in knowing which approach other Stata users prefer for imputing values as this is the first time I have encountered missing values and I am just beginning to research the various methods of imputation. 

Thanks in advance,
Jennifer

Graduate Student
Florida International University

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