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st: string panelvar problem with xtset

From   "Dimitriy V. Masterov" <>
To   Statalist <>
Subject   st: string panelvar problem with xtset
Date   Fri, 8 Apr 2011 12:20:19 -0400

I am having trouble xtsetting my data. My panel variable is a
concatenated 12 digit string block-group ID and a 4 digit store id.
There are about 200,000 unique values.

I cannot encode this variable because it has too many values. Sencode
might be an option, but it has been chugging for some time.

Any suggestions about how to solve this? Why does the panel variable
have to be numeric?

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