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st: copying the contents of a variable to another obervation


From   Rebecca Kalmus <kalmus@fas.harvard.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: copying the contents of a variable to another obervation
Date   Mon, 8 Sep 2003 18:29:32 -0400 (EDT)

Does anyone know a simple way to copy the contents of a variable for one 
observation over to a new variable in a different observation?  For 
instance, suppose I have a data set consisting of married couples.  I have 
three variables: a household identifier (hhid), a person identifier within 
the household (person) which equals one or two, and a variable for income 
(income).  I want to create a new variable for spouse's income 
(inc_spouse).  To do so I code the following:

by hhid, sort: gen inc_spouse=income[2] if person==1;
by hhid: replace inc_spouse=income[1] if person==2;

This is a cumbersome process, which becomes more complicated for more 
complex data set--if, for instance, the households contain different 
numbers of people.  In addition, with more complicated data, it becomes 
more difficult to check whether or not the coding is done correctly.

Does anyone know a simple way of copying the contents of a variable for 
one observation over to a new variable in a different observation?  It 
seems like something that would be done frequently enough that there 
should be some simple way of doing it.  Any help is much appreciated.

Rebecca





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