Description: Note for text variables in Stata 12 (or earlier) system files
Posted: 2014-Jan-17


This latest release of the data, dated January 9, 2013, includes Stata-specific corrections for several text variables. In previous releases, these variables were truncated in the Stata system (.dta) file. The SPSS system (.sav) file and raw ASCII (.txt) data file did not have truncated texts and have not been changed in the January 9 release.

Please note that the raw ASCII (.txt) data file and the Stata dictionary (.dct) file were not erroneous in past releases. However, when used together to create a .dta system file, some internal features of Stata that manage high concentrations of text produce truncations in the resulting .dta file.

In this January 9 release, Stata dictionary (.dct) file specifications have been amended to avoid the problem. Newer features of Stata 13, unavailable in previous versions, were included in the dictionary used with the existing raw ASCII (.txt) data to create the January 9 release Stata system (.dta) file.

Unfortunately, the new Stata 13 dictionary (.dct) and data (.dta) files cannot be used by earlier versions of Stata. For those who may not be using Stata 13, we are also continuing to release the Stata 12 files. Researchers using Stata version 12 should be aware that the truncation issues remain when using the Stata 12 files. As part of our next data release, we will be extracting the text variables from the main data file and make them available in a standalone file. This will allow for easier analysis of that data and completely avoid the issue of truncation.