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Re: st: Creating Dummys from a variable with 5 categories

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: Creating Dummys from a variable with 5 categories
Date   Sun, 2 Dec 2012 16:49:26 +0000

As Daniel Klein's posting also indicated, this procedure is a little
risky and may give incorrect results if you have missing values.
Usually you want missing values to be reflected by missing values in
the indicator.

A more general definition, which allows a one-line Stata solution, is

gen <dummy> = cond(missing(<varname>), .,  <expression>)

when you want the <dummy> to be 1 if <expression> is true and 0 if it is false.

For example

gen flatfee = cond(missing(myvar), ., myvar == 1)

gen nonflatfee = cond(missing(myvar), ., myvar == 0)

As said, you may know that you want missing values to imply 1 or 0 for
your indicator, in which case you can supply the appropriate answer in
place of . (system missing).

Here and elsewhere, I recommend the term "indicator" over "dummy". I
have heard too many stories in which "dummy" was misinterpreted as
implying disparagement, insult or offence, but no such stories about


On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM, JVerkuilen (Gmail)
<> wrote:
> Your question isn't quite specified to be answerable but here's a
> quick way to make a dummy variable that has value 1 for flat fee and 0
> for any other value of myvar:
>      generate flatfee = 1
>      replace flatfee = 0 if myvar != 1
> What this syntax does is (a) make a variable flatfee that has 1
> everywhere and (b) change all values for which myvar does not indicate
> a flat fee to 0. You could also
>      generate flatfee = 0
>      replace flatfee = 1 if myvar = 1
> which is the opposite process, as it changes the 0s to 1s where flat
> fee is applicable. This seems more natural than coding flat fee the 0
> and all other methods 1, but if you want the other way around
>      generate nonflatfee = 1 - flatfee
> Try these and then check your work by
>      tabulate flatfee myvar
> which is always a good idea whenever you're recoding variables. You
> should see a 2x5 table that has the counts all in the right place.
> On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM, Sharon Brody <> wrote:

>> I have a variable with 5 answers and need to make a dummy variable from it
>> The question asked - How are you charged for your waste:
>> 1. Flat Fee
>> 2. Weight or Volume
>> 3. Frequency
>> 4. Not Charged
>> 5. Dont Know
>> If I want to create a dummy variable that uses Flat Fee as a reference point
>> 1. How do I create a dummy (I have tried the basic way - gen XXXX =1 replace XXXX=0 if YYYY=>2) but I believe this is incorrect as it doesnt incorporate all the variables.
>> 2. How do I get Stata 12 to use "Flat Fee" as the reference base point
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