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Re: st: How to drop individuals from sample?

From   Maarten Buis <>
Subject   Re: st: How to drop individuals from sample?
Date   Wed, 25 Jul 2012 09:25:22 +0200

On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 8:54 AM, Dheepan Ratha Krishnan wrote:
> I am looking for a stata
> command that will enable me to exclude individuals who have
> experienced a particular life event more than once in my dataset.

That depends on how your data is structured. I will assume that the
data has the following structure: Each event has its own record, so
the same individual can have multiple records. The type of event is
stored in a separate variable, for example:

person event_date event_type other_vars
1         02Jan2012 married     ...
1         03Jan2012 divorced    ...
1         04Jan2012 married
2         01Feb1950 married    ...
2         01Jun2012 widowed ....

In this case you would want to ignore person 1 as he married twice (in
three days...). Typically you do not have the variable event_type as a
string but as a numeric variable with labels attached. Say 1 is
married 2 is divorced and 3 is widowed, and you are interested in the
event married. Than you type:

gen byte married = event == 1
bys person : egen tot_married = total(married)
drop married

The variable tot_married counts the number of times a person got
married, so you want to ignore all persons with tot_married > 2. So
you add to any subsequent command the condition -if tot_married < 2-.

This way you ignore the entire person 1, but say you want to use the
first marriage of person 1 just not any subsequent marriages. Than you

gen byte married = event == 1
bys person (event_date) : gen tot_married = sum(married)
drop married

To read more about this see:
help egen
help sum()
help if

Hope this helps,

Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen
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