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st: Creating quintiles with "xtile"

From   "Yvonne Capstick" <>
Subject   st: Creating quintiles with "xtile"
Date   Mon, 26 Mar 2007 12:53:01 -0400

I have a dataset of stock returns each month. For each month, I'd like to sort the stocks into quintiles. What I'd really like to do is something like:

sort date
by date: xtile newvar = ret, nq(5)

However, Stata doesn't let me combine "xtile" with "by". I can obviously get around this by looping through the dates, but this is time-consuming. In many other applications, I can use "by" to save on a loop (e.g. sort date, by date: egen newvar = mean(ret)) but I can't seem to use it here. Does anyone know of a more efficient way to generate my quintiles per month?

Thanks, Yvonne

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