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Home Online Help Statistical Packages Stata Reshape World Development Indicators for Stata Analysis

Reshape World Development Indicators for Stata Analysis

The World Development Indicators is a commonly used dataset for macro level data. By default it exports the data to a layout that is very inconvenient for analysis. Here you have two options:

- From the WDI page you can export the data to a usable datataset without the need to reshape it, click here for instructions (make sure 'Country' is in row and 'Series' in columns, remove 'Time' from column and put it in the page section).

- Below are a series of steps to convert it into a "long" form, appropriate for analysis as panel data. For a more comprenhensive set of instructions on reshaping (long to wide and wide to long) please click here

WDI data as downloaded from the World Bank web site:

First, open the spreadsheet in Excel and add a "y" in front of the year column headers, so they have the form y1970, y1971 etc. Save the file as as comma separated values (.csv).

Read the file into Stata using the "insheet" command. Next, issue the following commands:

	 drop ind1
	 gen id = _n
	 reshape long y, i(id) j(year)
	 encode ind1_desc, gen(varnum)
	 label save varnum using vardesc, replace

The "label save" command creates vardesc.do, a do file for applying the WDI series descriptors as labels to values of the "varnum" variable. We are going to turn each different value of varnum (each WDI series) into a variable. To keep track of which variable holds the data for which series, we will turn vardesc.do into a program for applying the series descriptors to the variables as variable labels. To do this, edit vardesc.do in Word or another editor so each line has the form:

	 label var data1 `"Adjusted savings: adjusted net savings (% of GNI)"'

Finally, issue the following commands in stata:

	 drop id ind1_desc
	 rename y data
	 egen id = group(country_name year)
	 reshape wide data, i(id) j(varnum)
	 
	 do vardesc.do

For more on reshaping please check Data Preparation & Descriptive Statistics

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