Speaking stata: Seven steps for vexatious string variables

Nicholas J. Cox, Clyde B. Schechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


String variables that seemingly should be numeric require some care. The column provides a step-by-step guide explaining how to convert them or-as the case may merit-to leave them as they are. Dates in string form, identifiers and categorical variables, and pure numeric content trapped in string form need different actions. Practical advice on good and not so good technique is sprinkled throughout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-994
Number of pages14
JournalStata Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Dates
  • Destring
  • Dm0098
  • Egen
  • Encode
  • Numeric variables
  • String variables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)

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