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Re: st: Converting string var to integer

From (Shannon Driver, StataCorp)
Subject   Re: st: Converting string var to integer
Date   Thu, 13 Feb 2003 17:10:13 -0600

Thomas Heckelei <> wrote:

> I'm a stata beginner and have a recoding problem.
> Cross sectional units in my panel data set are currently identified by 
> names (string variables). I want to make an integer variable out of it such 
> that it has a new (ascending) value for each new unit. All the standard 
> routines to "destring" and recode that I could find looking at the help 
> file would require me to type all the names (>400) at least once.
> It might be important to know that the number of time observations differ 
> between units (unbalanced).
> Is there any possibility to do this within state or do I better go back to 
> excel or gauss for that?

You should be able to get the variable you want with -encode- or -egen-'s 
group() function.

	. encode strvarname, generate(newvar)

This -encode- command will create newvar as numeric.  It will attach the string
values from your string variable to newvar as a value label.

	. egen newvar = group(strvarname)

This -egen- command will give you a plain numeric newvar with no value label.
You could actually add the ", label" option and get the same result as the
above -encode- command.

--Shannon Driver

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