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Re: Missing values [was: RE: st: simple question]


From   Richard Williams <Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: Missing values [was: RE: st: simple question]
Date   Wed, 02 Jun 2004 16:41:18 -0500

At 10:18 PM 6/2/2004 +0100, Nick Cox wrote:
Perhaps you could expand on this.
Sure. What I dislike is that, unlike other programs, Stata forces you to recode the MD values from a data set. All those 7s, 9s, 99s, etc. will have to be recoded to .a, .b, etc. The values you use for MD will not be the same as the values in the published codebooks or that may be reported by other users of the data who are using other programs.

In SPSS, on the other hand, I would just say something like

Missing Values X (77, 88, 99).

This isn't a mega problem, but when Stata expanded its possible MD codes I'd have rather seen it take an SPSS-type approach than the route it did go. (On the other hand, I suppose you could argue that the rest of the world should do things more like Stata.)

The bigger problem (which is perhaps more of an issue with Stat/Transfer than it is with Stata) is that distinctions between types of MD codes get lost when converting from SPSS to Stata. I don't know whether this problem is unique to Stata or occurs with other types of conversions as well, but I would like to see software better address it, e.g. when there are multiple MD codes in SPSS assign them to .a, .b, etc. in Stata.

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