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Re: AW: st: create unique variables

From   Ulrich Kohler <>
Subject   Re: AW: st: create unique variables
Date   Fri, 4 Feb 2005 12:44:48 +0100

Buechte, Sebastian (Institut für Arbeitswissenschaften) wrote:
> David,
> honestly, nothing. Maybe its just too easy...
> But how would you influence how the values will be ordered for the
> numbering process? When using the bysort-thing, you can decide how the
> values will be ordered before the id is attached to them. When using 
> egen's group function, do you have to sort the data before?
> Regards,
> sebastian
> > While both of the suggestions so far work fine, what is wrong
> > with just:
> >
> > egen id=group(firstname lastname dob)

Looking at the code of -_ggroup.ado-, which provides the functionality for 
-egen-'s group function reveals that egen-group does nothing else than

. bysort firstname lastname dob: gen id = 1 if _n==1
. replace id =sum(id)

That said, there is nothing "bad" with -egen-. 

One fine point, however is, that you should not use egen-group in an ado-file. 
Egen is an ado-file, which calls an ado-file, which builds some more or less 
complicated -generate- and -replace- sequences, which are than executed. An 
ado-file will run faster if you program the -generate-/-replace- sequence 
directly.  This is easy to do, as you can get the lines from the respective 
-egen- function. -egen- functions are always in ado-files starting with _g. 
Look for _grsum.ado for the the -egen- function rsum(), etc. 


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