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st: first|string option for collapse

From   Caleb Southworth <>
Subject   st: first|string option for collapse
Date   Thu, 5 Oct 2006 16:06:21 -0700 (PDT)

A problem that comes up occasionally when collapsing data on organizations
is the inability to take the first instance of a variable in the set being
collapsed. This would be most useful when that variable is a string, but I
believe is also of general use. Below is my work around, but perhaps
someone has a better one?

Imagine data on organizations:

id	org_name	_1935	_1936
1	foo		10	.
1	foo_blah	.	12
2	noo		54	55

I have duplicate ids and I want to collapse the data, but I don't want to
lose the name. The non-existent command would be

-collapse (first) org_name (sum) _*, by(id)-


save orig
duplicates drop id, force
keep id org_name
save temp_name, replace
use orig, clear
collapse (sum) _*, by(id)
merge id using temp_name, sort

(first) in collapse could also be used to priviledge the data on one type
of case, i.e. the start date of an organization: - sort id start- then
collapse keeping earliest start date.
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