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RE: st: RE: SPSS to Stata - Variable with 14 digits not transformed correctly

From   Nick Cox <[email protected]>
To   "'[email protected]'" <[email protected]>
Subject   RE: st: RE: SPSS to Stata - Variable with 14 digits not transformed correctly
Date   Fri, 2 Mar 2012 16:45:39 +0000

Stat/Transfer is likely to be an excellent alternative. 

[email protected] 

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Julian Emmler
Sent: 02 March 2012 16:27
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: st: RE: SPSS to Stata - Variable with 14 digits not transformed correctly

Thanks for the response Nick, that's what I expected. Does anyone know
a procedure to transfer the data to Stata correctly?

2012/3/2 Nick Cox <[email protected]>:
> In this context values like 1.001e+13 are to be thought of as, strictly, sets of values which are all displayed in the same way with a particular format. Crucially, changing the display format does nothing to change what is stored; by definition, it only changes how that is displayed.
> 14-digit identifiers can only be held accurately in Stata as string variables or -double- variables. If your identifier variable is -float- instead, then you will have lost precision in importing to Stata and the only way to regain that precision is to read the data in again.  Recasting from -float- to -double- does nothing useful as the extra details have been lost already.
> -usespss- is user-written (SSC). Its author is intermittently active on Statalist. I've never used it but I see no way in its help to change how particular variables are imported. I guess that you need some other solution. As I don't use SPSS or SPSS files at all I can only guess that you need to look at export options in SPSS and import options in Stata and find a match. Others on this list who do use SPSS should be able to add better advice.
> In short, this problem as you describe it cannot be fixed in Stata. You must import again.
> Nick
> [email protected]
> Julian Emmler
>  I'm new to this forum so I don't know yet the most accurate way to post my
> question but I hope it will be understandable and I would be greatful for
> every question for clarification. My Problem with Stata is concerned with
> transforming household data for the South African labour market which is
> only available in SPSS format to Stata. I did this with several datasets
> also for the South African labour market and used the "usespss" command in
> Stata which worked just fine. However with the last dataset I encountered a
> problem:
>  In the dataset, to identify a household, a 14 digit number called the
> Unique Household Identifier is used. However, if I transform the data
> from SPSS to Stata, the values of the Household identifier are not it's
> real values any more but are shortened e.g. to 1.001e+13. Thus the Unique
> household identifier is not unique anymore. I try several things, e.g.
> transformin the vaiable to a double variable and increasing the number of
> digits displayed. This helps in that regard, that the number is now
> displayed correctly in the data browser, however the value didn't change.
> After searching the internet, I've come to the conclusion that this probelm
> has something to do with the length of the variable, i.e. that 14 digits is
> too long to be handled by Stata. Another indicator for this is that with
> earlier datasets I had no problem because the Unique Household Identifier
> was 12 digits long. I wanted to ask now if you know any way to
> transfer the SPSS data to Stata correctly or a way to manipulate the
> data afterwards so i attains its true values.

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