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st: Creating new variables from variable values

From   "Eric Uslaner" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Creating new variables from variable values
Date   Mon, 29 Dec 2008 15:55:11 -0500


I have a data set (European Social Survey) with several variables indicating the respondents' and parents' country of birth.  The values for these string variables (which I know that I can convert) are mostly letters (some are numbers and I am not sure what they mean but I can set them to missing).  There is no value label.

The ESS uses a common letter system for countries (ISO 3166-1) and I have copied them into a Stata file by country.  What I want to do is to edit that file and assign values by groups of countries (e.g., Nordic countries, English speaking countries, etc.) to get groups that fit a theoretical pattern (don't worry about this).  The next step would be to sort by these numerical value labels  (or values for a new variable to create new variables such as born in Nordic countries, born in English speaking countries, born in transition countries, etc.  

Now I know that I can do this by hand (e.g., gen bornsoutherneurope if cntbrtha == ES | cntbrtha == GR etc).  But this would be a rather long and tedious process.  Is there any way to take the country codes (now in a file with country name--which can be deleted and with a region code that I could add) and create new variables from it?



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