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Re: st: Encoding string variables: the one var that has no variance encodes differently than the rest


From   Steve Nakoneshny <scnakone@ucalgary.ca>
To   "statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   Re: st: Encoding string variables: the one var that has no variance encodes differently than the rest
Date   Tue, 7 May 2013 17:04:44 -0600

David,

Stata encodes string vars in alphabetical order. If your vars encode "TRUE" as a 2, I would assume that "FALSE" would be a "1" in your encoded vars. Each variable is treated independently of the others; it encodes based on what is present, not what the contents of the string are and how it encoded the previous var.

Knowing this limitation, you can do a quick fix of your non-variant var with something like -recode var1_encoded (2=1)-
There are certainly other solutions, but this is internally consistent and fast (but ugly)

Steve

On 2013-05-07, at 4:50 PM, David de Jong wrote:

> Hi all,
> 
> New Stata (12.1) user here, and I'm a first time poster. I hope
> someone might be able to help with something. I've searched the web,
> help files, and archives to no avail.
> 
> I tried to encode a series of variables (type str5), with the following:
> 
> qui foreach v of var var1-var10 {
>    encode `v', generate(`v'_encoded)
> }
> 
> All of the variables seemed to convert as they should (to type long),
> except for the only variable that also happened to have no variance:
> all cases in the original variable had the string "TRUE." Instead of
> converting to a "2" as did all instances of "TRUE" in the other
> variables, it was converted to "1."
> 
> The same problem appears when I try it like this:
> 
> encode var1, generate(var1_encoded)
> 
> I'd be very grateful for any insights into what might be going on.
> 
> D. de Jong
> 
> ~
> Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology
> University of Rochester
> 498c Meliora Hall
> Rochester, NY 14627
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