stata Tutorial

how to generate and tsset time variables in Stata

Welcome to the Stata course! In this first tutorial, I will teach you how to Generate time series variables in stata.

You are on the right track to start mastering Stata and learning how to estimate diverse economic models which will help you conduct your research or do assignments.

Before you can begin estimating models, you need to import the data into Stata. Then, if you are working with time-series data (which will be our case for all the tutorials), you need to generate and tsset a time series variable. If you don’t know to Generate time series variables in stata, don’t worry! In this tutorial, I will show you step by step how to do it.

If you are new to the Stata world and tried to work with time-series data without setting a time variable, you may have gotten the following error message:

So we need to set a time variables.

In this tutorial you will learn:

What is tsset? and, how to tsset a time variable in stata

The command tsset is used to set the time series settings of our dataset. Using the command tsset will tell Stata to define the data in memory to be a time series. Once we set a time variable, we will be able to use time-series commands and start analyzing data. 

What is the command "format" in stata

After generating a time variable, Stata will create the series, but the numbers assigned to the series will not make sense to us (Hint: To see the random numbers Stata assigns to the time series it creates, type browse). Stata will know what the numbers mean, but it will no be user-friendly. We won’t know what quarters “11, 12, 13” are. Therefore, after generating the time series variable, we need to assign a format to it.

To assign a format to those “numbers” we need to use the command “format”. Stata will assign to those numbers the correct time format we request. The synax is:

After giving the format, you can type “browse” in the command section and you will be able to see that Stata now gave those numbers a time format that we can understand.

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