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st: Reshape: from wide to long

Subject   st: Reshape: from wide to long
Date   Mon, 15 Sep 2003 20:50:43 +0200


I have a panel data set (in wide format) where the same individuals were
interviewed eight times during a ten-year period. During the ten-year
period, about 30% of the orginal sample was lost due to attrition.

Some variables were measured 2 times, some were measured 3 ... and some
were measured 5 times. That is, my data looks like:

y1 y2 y3 y4 x1 x2 z1 z2 z3 v1 v2 v3 v4...

First, if I understand the manual correctly (which I probably don't), the
reshape command treats x3 above as a missing observation. The manual says
(p. 393): "Missing variables are treated like variables with missing
values". As I understand it, however, x3 is not missing (as in attrition) -
it was just not included in the survey that particular year.

Should this concern me, or is it just a technicality that I can overlook?
More important, will reshape "solve" this case in point?

Second, must the variables be placed adjacant as above for reshape to work,
or can they be organized as:

y1 x1 z1 v1 y2 x2.... v4

Thanks in advance for any help,


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