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Re: st: How to label the value 999999999999

From   Nick Winter <>
Subject   Re: st: How to label the value 999999999999
Date   Wed, 08 Oct 2008 09:55:04 -0400

If I were going the route of replacing 999..999 with something else and then labelling that, I would consider replacing it with one of Stata's extended missing values (.a .b etc.), adn then labelling that extended missing value. This sounds like exactly the sort of thing for which extended missings were created: cases can be distinguished from other sorts of missing, they are automatically excluded from numerical calculations, and they can be tabulated with meaningful labels.

-Nick Winter

Nick Cox wrote:
I agree with Sergiy. Your best bet may be to replace 999999999999 with a
smaller number and then use a value label.
What appears to be happening is a little curious. My interpretation
matches that of Sergiy: 999999999999 is being grabbed by Stata and
stored as a floating point number. I don't think -label- ever sees a
exact integer. Whether there is an upper limit to integers to which
labels can be attached I don't know, but that does not appear to be the
It is not as though Stata can not do exact integer arithmetic with
integers this size, because it can. You can put 999999999999 in a
-double- variable and do that, but you will need to use a suitable
-format- for the results to be visible. Nick
Sergiy Radyakin

Stata does not allow having labels defined for floating-point values.
Value 999999999999 is stored as a fp value.
Hence there is no way to have a value 999999999999 with a label in

This is possible in SPSS, since it allows labeling any 8 bytes of data.

In Stata only integers and extended missings may have labels, but not
FP-values or strings.

I would suggest you replace 999999999999 with, say -9999 and have a
label define m -9999 "[999999999999] no response"

or save the original 999999999999 value somewhere in the _notes_

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