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Re: st: RE: programatically dropping variables that don't actually vary

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: programatically dropping variables that don't actually vary
Date   Thu, 9 Aug 2012 20:13:07 +0100

for "and" read "&"

On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 8:12 PM, Nick Cox <> wrote:
> In principle, many variables could have mean 0. A safer test is that
> if r(min) == 0 and r(max) == 0
> Nick
> On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM, Sarah Edgington <> wrote:
>> Jenn,
>> There are a variety of ways you might want to do this.  What I would do is
>> something like the following:
>> foreach var of varlist dummy1-dummyn {
>>         sum `var',  meanonly
>>         if r(mean)==0 {
>>                 drop `var'
>>         }
>> }
>> This cycles through each of your variables (substitute your actual variable
>> list for "dummy1-dummyn").  For reach variable it calculates the mean.  The
>> drop statement in the if loop only gets executed if the value stored in
>> r(mean) is 0.
>> -Sarah
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [] On Behalf Of Earl, Jennifer
>> Suzanne - (jenniferearl)
>> Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 11:46 AM
>> To:
>> Subject: st: programatically dropping variables that don't actually vary
>> Hi,
>> I am working with a large number of dummy variables and using collapse to
>> create derivative datasets that are the frequencies of 1's for each dummy
>> variable (a couple of hundred through foreach loops). I want to drop any of
>> the dummy variables that never had a 1 (so mean(dummy1)==0, or
>> max(dummy)==0) but it seems that drop only lets you use an if statement to
>> drop observations, but not an if statement to drop variables.
>> My best guess is to use a list means to create a list of the variable names
>> that can be stored in a local and then fed into a drop command, but can't
>> seem to make that work either since I only want the list of variable names
>> that have a mean of 0. Or maybe transpose the dataset, drop then since the
>> variables are now observations, and transpose back? Another solution would
>> be save through StatTansfer and use it's drop constants feature, and then
>> bring the data back in, but there must be an easier way.
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