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# st: Find variable with first occurrence of a value in a list of variables

 From Mike Lacy To statalist-digest@hsphsun2.harvard.edu Subject st: Find variable with first occurrence of a value in a list of variables Date Tue, 13 Jul 2010 07:33:46 -0600

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I'm looking for a relatively easy way to find, for each observation, which variable in a list has the first occurrence of a particular value. I was looking for a built-in solution, but not finding something, came up with a "roll your own" solution that seems less than ideal, and so am seeking suggestions
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// Example data: For each case, find first occurrence of a "1" in a list of five variables.
```set obs 10
forval i = 1/5 {
gen byte x`i' = (runiform() > 0.6)
}
local value_of_interest 1
tempvar found
gen byte `found' = 0
gen str varname = ""
foreach v of varlist x1-x5 {
replace varname  = "`v'" if (!`found') & (`v' == `value_of_interest')
replace `found' = 1 if (`v' == `value_of_interest')
}
//

```
I'm interested in a simple and efficient approach to the general case, i.e., not assuming that the variable list of interest is numbered. Among other things, the looping approach here would seem a bit better if there was a way to terminate the search for each observation the loop when `found' ==1.
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Suggestions?

Regards,
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Mike Lacy, Assoc. Prof.
Soc. Dept., Colo. State. Univ.
Fort Collins CO 80523 USA
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(970)-491-6721
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