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st: Placing a string variable in a local/global

From   George Chioran <>
Subject   st: Placing a string variable in a local/global
Date   Tue, 27 Apr 2010 13:15:23 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Statalisters, 

I am assigning the names of certain observations from variable X to a local/global with the command: local n = X[_N]. Say that now `n' has the string "bear" stored in it.
Next I load a larger data base where variable X has several string observations named bear among others.
For the final step I am trying to record the observations from variable Z where `n' = X in a variable y. My code is this: 

local n = X[_N]
use "C:\Users\George\Desktop\Methodology\Final data1.dta", clear
gen y = Z if `n' == X

However when I do this, I get the error message: unrecognized command:  bear

Do you know how I could store observations from X so that when I load a larger data set I can use them to see how many similar observations I have in the larger data set? 

Thank you a lot for the help, 

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