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Re: st: mkdat

From   Ulrich Kohler <>
Subject   Re: st: mkdat
Date   Tue, 27 Nov 2007 17:45:18 +0100

Am Dienstag, den 27.11.2007, 15:50 +0100 schrieb Johannes Geyer:
> Dear Statalist,
> my question concerns an option in the user-written program "mkdat.ado" to 
> draw samples from the GSOEP. I have to specify a path-name for the 
> "using"-command:
> ***************************
> mkdat
> akzahl bkzahl ckzahl dkzahl
> using PATHNAME , files(p) waves(a b c d) netto(10)
> ***************************
> Say my pathname includes a blank like in "C:\Dokumente und 
> Einstellungen\Eigene Dateien" then the program returns an error 
> **************
> invalid 'und'
> **************
> This does not happen with other commands, like e.g. merge and also the 
> Stata help says that it is enough to enclose the expression in quotes.
> Does anybody know why this does not work with mkdat or did I miss 
> something? My solution was to use "cd "PATHNAME"" and then enter the 
> folder directly but I would like to understand the error.

-mkdat- is an user-written program, which (should) ease retrivals of
data from the German Socio Economic Panel (GSOEP). It has been in the
public space since Stata version 5 and still operates under Stata
version 5. Although it is heavily used by some of my collegues it has
not required an update for years. 

-mkdat- has uncommon syntax because it only requests a pathname behind
the keyword "using" (instead of a filename). -mkdat- builds the
filenames from this pathname and its knowledge about structure of the
GSOEP database. 

As it stands the program do not parse any quotation marks into this
It therefore cannot work with spaces in the pathnames. Seen it from
today, I would consider this as a bug. 

I can correct this bug, however it is not as easy as I originally
thought. I must make some major changes in the code, and I wonder wether
these are worthwile. As you might know, there is a much more powerful
program for SOEP-retrivals available (PanelWhiz by John HaiskenDeNew).
>From my perspective -mkdat- has being superseded by PanelWhiz, and I'am
somewhat reluctant to make major changes in the code, therefore.

Johannes, can you please drop me a note whether you guys at the DIW use
-mkdat-? If so I will do the revision. If not, I will regard the problem
as a feature. In this case I will only change the help file accordingly.

Many regards

030 25491-361

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