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From |
"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk> |

To |
<statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
RE: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable |

Date |
Fri, 26 Mar 2010 13:20:16 -0000 |

A more specialised program for reversing variables, -vreverse-, is also available on SSC. -recode- divides the Stata world. I imagine that several people have internalised the entire syntax through repeated use. I use it rarely because I find it easier to use some mix of other commands than to (re-)learn its Swiss army knife syntax. (No disrespect to Swiss Army knives, or programs written in that way: I've owned several and written several, but they can be a pain for occasional use.) And, because of that, I use it rarely. But to the point: I was under the impression that -recode- could manage value labels too. Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk Phil Schumm On Mar 25, 2010, at 1:16 PM, Nick Cox wrote: > 3. Although -sencode- is undeniably useful, and its existence > underlines a view elsewhere expressed that -encode- should be > revisited by StataCorp to make it more comprehensive, I see nothing > here that could not also be achieved directly with -encode-. Nick is, of course, correct; by using the -label()- option, you have complete control over how -encode- assigns integers when encoding a string variable. This appears to have been what the OP was asking about. There is, however, a related problem which occurs frequently: You have a categorical variable which is already encoded, but you want to change the mapping. For example, you might have a numeric variable called myvar with corresponding value label myvar: 1 yes 2 no and you want to change this so that the response "no" is represented by 0 instead of 2 (e.g., so that you can use boolean operators). Or, you might have a variable encoded thusly: mylab: 1 a lot 2 some 3 a little 4 not at all and you want to reverse this so that the order of the integers reflects the natural ordering of the responses (e.g., so that when you fit an ordinal regression model, your coefficients have a straightforward interpretation). Although you can often avoid these problems when creating your own dataset, those who work with secondary datasets in which variables come pre-encoded often wish to change the default encoding to facilitate analysis and interpretation. Many (if not most) datasets available in social science archives contain encoded variables. Now, I often see people attack this problem with a combination of - recode- and -label define, modify-. This is a pain, leads to code that is difficult to read, and, most importantly, is error prone. An alternative solution is provided by a command I wrote called -re2lab- (for "recode to label"), which can be obtained via net install re2lab, from(http://rcg-software.uchicago.edu/stata) This comes with a help file explaining its features and usage. The goal was to simplify the process of re-encoding variables, and to reduce the likelihood of making a mistake when doing so. * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*Phil Schumm <pschumm@uchicago.edu>

**References**:**st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*"Karen Wright" <Karen.Wright@icr.ac.uk>

**Re: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*Ronan Conroy <rconroy@rcsi.ie>

**RE: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*"Martin Weiss" <martin.weiss1@gmx.de>

**RE: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>

**Re: st: 'Re-ordering' the labels of a variable***From:*Phil Schumm <pschumm@uchicago.edu>

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