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RE: st: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters


From   Benson Limann <benli2@live.com>
To   stata <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters
Date   Mon, 2 Feb 2009 17:03:51 -0700

Dear Phil and Peter:

Many thanks for your quick replies! I do want to facilitate the use of commands that require a numeric identifier.
 
Phil's method is very cool, and Peter's also teaches me a good lesson.
 
Ben


----------------------------------------
> From: pschumm@uchicago.edu
> To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
> Subject: Re: st: Individual IDs with non-numeric characters
> Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 17:25:12 -0600
>
> On Feb 2, 2009, at 4:58 PM, Benson Limann wrote:
>> The individual IDs in my dataset are in the string format. I
>> currently use -destring- to make them numeric. But, unfortunately,
>> some individual IDs have non-numeric characters. As a result, -
>> destring- with the -force- option deletes all these individuals
>> automatically.
>>
>> Given that I want to sort all the observations, is it possible to
>> keep these individuals with non-numeric IDs?
>
>
> It's unclear what you're asking -- if some IDs have non-numeric
> characters that you want to preserve, then you have no choice but to
> leave the variable as a string. Why would you want to destring your
> ID variable anyway, given the headaches that a long numeric ID can
> cause (if not handled properly)? If the only reason is to facilitate
> the use of commands that require a numeric identifier (e.g., -xtset-),
> then this is easily addressed, e.g.:
>
> egen panel = group(id)
> xtset panel
>
>
> -- Phil
>
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