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st: Looking up values in a 2 dimensional table

From   Mike Lacy <>
Subject   st: Looking up values in a 2 dimensional table
Date   Thu, 17 Apr 2008 16:26:13 -0600

A colleague of mine has a data file with family income and family size for a large sample, with real family income for each of a series of years, in the wide format, e.g., something like:

famid FamSize1985 FamSize1987 FamSize1991 ... Inc1985 inc1987 Inc1991 ...

with family sizes and family incomes recorded for about 20 different year, not at fixed intervals.

He needs to create a poverty status indicator corresponding to each year, based on a 2 dimensional table giving poverty thresholds for each value of year and family size. All the ways I can imagine doing this seem relatively clumsy. (Among other things, I thought about ways of doing this with a matrix but they would require using the value of the family size variable as an index into the matrix, which is beyond my ken.)
I also considered something involving reshape and merge, but that seemed awkward as well.



Mike Lacy
Fort Collins CO USA
(970) 491-6721 office

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