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Re: st: merge and nearest value

From   David Kantor <>
Subject   Re: st: merge and nearest value
Date   Sat, 18 Aug 2012 23:13:40 -0400

First, I presume that in A, TYPE and DATE uniquely identify observations.

I suggest you do a -joinby- on TYPE. This will create a large multitude of observations. Then for each distinct TYPE and DATE combination, compute the difference and then select (by TYPE and DATE) the one with the minimal difference.
You can do appropriate sorting to break ties in the manner you desire.


At 07:22 PM 8/18/2012, Francesco wrote:
Dear Statalist,

I wish again that you could help me with this particular merging problem...

Let say I have a dataset A as:

A            2
A            5
A            20
B            10
B            2

and I have another dataset B as :

TYPE  Special_Date
A              2
A              6
A              20
A              22
B              5
B              6

The question is : I would like to obtain the difference between the
date of each observation in A and the closest special date in B with
the same type. In case of ties I would take the latest date of the

For example I would obtain here

TYPE   DATE   Difference
A            2            0=2-2
A            5            -1=5-6
A            20            0=20-20
B            10           +4=10-6
B            2             -3=2-5

I was thinking of reshaping the dataset B in order to have the special
dates in column for each type, merging then on type with A, creating a
difference variable between the date and each special date, and taking
the minimum...
But this involves creating a lot of variables and maybe there is
something more simple ?

Many thanks for your suggestions,

Best Regards,

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