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st: RE: psmatch2 with the if condition

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: psmatch2 with the if condition
Date   Mon, 22 Mar 2010 11:22:53 -0000

You refer to various user-written programs here. Remember that you are
asked to explain where user-written programs mentioned in a post come

-catenate- is from SSC. It has long since morphed into, and been
superseded by, the official -egen- function -concat()-. However, its use
here is not problematic. 

More importantly, -psmatch2- is a very often used command from SSC. I
haven't used it, but my guess is very much that you are misunderstanding
something rather than that you have discovered a bug. 

Note that Stata is not doing anything independently of the commands you
issue, contrary to some of your wording here. 

I haven't tried to understand your detailed logic, but what seems much
more likely than a problem with -psmatch2- is that you are
misunderstanding what your -while- loops are doing. 

You have two loops 

local j=1
while `j' <= g {
	local i=1
	while `i' < Ncondition1 {

Both involve looping until a value stored in a variable is reached, -g-
in the outer loop and -Ncondition1- in the inner loop. With this kind of
programming what Stata does is look at the value of the named variable
_in the first observation_. This is documented at 

FAQ     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  if command vs. if
        . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  J.
        6/00    I have an if command in my program that only seems
                to evaluate the first observation, what's going on?

So, it's as if you had programmed 

local j=1
while `j' <= g[1] {
	local i=1
	while `i' < Ncondition1[1] {

It's evident that is definitely not what you want and leading to your
loop terminating before the work you want is done and that you are
unjustly putting the blame on -psmatch2-. It may be that your loop just
goes round once and does not get beyond -g[1]- which is 1. 


Dr. Roberto Mura, Ph.D. [edited] 

I have a cross section of companies, some listed some private.
I am trying to find a matching private (undiversified) firm for each 
listed one, on the basis of company size. Also, since my dataset is 
cross country, I am trying to control for country and SIC code as 
well. To this end, I have created a condition, called -condition1-, to 
divide the sample into a set of clusters: 

catenate condition1 =  country sic2

Now, once a match is found, I need Stata to report some accounting 
data for the matched private firm on the same row as the  listed firm.
I have tried to create a "self-fulfilling" nested loop so that I 
don't need to specify beforehand the total number of clusters 
(-condition1-) and also because the total number of firms changes with 
different clusters (-Ncondition1- below).  The problem that I am facing 
is that -psmatch2- does not seem to understand the -if- condition.
I have uploaded the dataset (for version 11 and for version 9 of 
Stata) and the do file in my website under  if you want to take a look.
Here is what I do:

use "D:\AAA.dta", clear
catenate condition1 =  country sic2
gen quotedcondition1=1 if quotedcompany==1
replace quotedcondition1=0 if quotedcompany==0 & diversification_orig==1
gen quotednumerator=.
gen quoteddenomenator=.
gen privatenumerator=.
gen privatedenominator=.
egen g=group(condition1)
bysort condition1: gen Ncondition1=_N

local j=1
while `j' <=g {
psmatch2 quotedcondition1 if g==`j', pscore(size) noreplacement
replace quotednumerator=fnetincome if _nn==1
replace quoteddenomenator=shareholdersfundsnew if _nn==1
replace privatenumerator=fnetincome if _n1==_id
replace privatedenominator=shareholdersfundsnew if _n1==_id

local i=1
while `i' <Ncondition1 {
replace privatenumerator=fnetincome[_n+`i'] if _n1==_id[_n+`i']
replace privatedenominator=shareholdersfundsnew[_n+`i'] if
replace privatenumerator=fnetincome[_n-`i'] if _n1==_id[_n-`i']
replace privatedenominator=shareholdersfundsnew[_n-`i'] if
local i = `i' + 1
local j = `j' + 1

The problem seems to lie in

psmatch2 quotedcondition1 if g==`j', pscore(size) noreplacement

What seems to be happening is that the matching is done only for the 
first 3 firms of the first cluster and then Stata is mis-assigning 
the _id since the numbers do not follow the clustering but rather, 
Stata is applying the -psmatch2- considering the sample as a whole. If, 
for instance, I change the if condition into:

psmatch2 quotedcondition1 if g==1, pscore(size) noreplacement

then Stata is not matching inside the cluster (condition1) but again 
it is treating the sample as a whole. In other words the "if" 
condition does not appear to be used at all by Stata.

I have tried both version of psmatch2. The one available through SSC 
(version 3.1.5 2may2009) and the more recent one available from (4.0.1)
I have Stata/MP 11.0 for Windows (64-bit x86-64)  running on XP Pro 
64. I also tried with the older version I had, Stata/SE 9.2 for 
Windows 64-bit x86-64and things don't change.

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