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st: re: discerning a variable's "type"


From   Kit Baum <kitbaum@mac.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: re: discerning a variable's "type"
Date   Sun, 1 May 2005 15:08:35 -0400

Although Nick Cox is certainly correct in noting that a researcher's classification of a variable as "discrete" or "continuous" is not one of Stata's characteristics defining that variable, two things come to mind:

1) compress will turn a "false float" into an appropriate integer (but one may not want to routinely compress a data set just to find that out!)

2) a reasonable approximation to D vs C can be had with a minor mod of Phil Ryan's code:

webuse auto, clear
foreach var of varlist _all {
local ty : type `var'
if index("`ty'","str") == 0 {
capt assert `var' - int(`var') == 0 if `var' < .
local wh = cond(_rc>0,"Continuous","Discrete")
display " `var' " _col(20) "`: type `var''" _col(30) "`wh'"
}
}

price int Discrete
mpg int Discrete
rep78 int Discrete
headroom float Continuous
trunk int Discrete
weight int Discrete
length int Discrete
turn int Discrete
displacement int Discrete
gear_ratio float Continuous
foreign byte Discrete

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics
http://ideas.repec.org/e/pba1.html

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