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st: tabulate produces inconsistent output?

From   Christian Raschke <>
Subject   st: tabulate produces inconsistent output?
Date   Sat, 19 Nov 2011 13:42:40 -0600

Hello Stata-listers,

I am running into the following very odd problem: I have a factor variable that I would like to tabulate, but every time I use tab, I get different results. When running tab back to back on the same variable in the same data set I get entirely different results every time.

All the years that I have used Stata, I've never had anything like this happen, so I am totally stumped. There are only 2 variables in my data set: a variable "ID" that is storage type double and the variable "pldel" that is storage type byte.

Please see what I copied and pasted at the end of this email straight from my interactive session. The same oddity occurs if I use the .tab pldel, gen() syntax; in the same session I continue to get different results every time I run a simple tab, so the below are just two arbitrary examples.

If I open a new clean session of Stata, then tab works as expected. I did not define any user defined programs or do anything anything else of that nature in the broken session. The only commands in my Command History are various versions of <use>, <tab>, <count>, <describe>, and <browse>.

So, what might have happened to break a basic command like <tab>? I know that using a new session fixes the immediate problem at hand, but I want to ensure that something like this does not happen in any of my data analyses in the future!

If it matters, I'm running Stata 12.0 SE 64-bit on a Windows 7 machine.

I apologize if this has been discussed before, but a quick preliminary search turned up nothing. I would appreciate any help troubleshooting.

. tab pldel

   Place of |
   Delivery |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
          1 |    223,057       98.96       98.96
          2 |      2,191        0.97       99.93
          3 |        106        0.05       99.98
          9 |         46        0.02      100.00
      Total |    225,400      100.00
r; t=0.08 13:15:07

. tab pldel

   Place of |
   Delivery |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
          1 |     62,726       99.41       99.41
          2 |        351        0.56       99.96
          9 |         23        0.04      100.00
      Total |     63,100      100.00
r; t=0.08 13:15:11

. count
r; t=0.02 13:15:14

Best regards,

Christian Raschke
PhD Candidate, Department of Economics
Louisiana State University

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