[R] reading stata files: preserving values of variables converted to factors

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 27 18:45:58 CEST 2007

On Thu, 26 Jul 2007, Ben Saylor wrote:

> Hi,
> I am a Stata user new to R.  I am using read.dta to read a Stata file
> that has variables with value labels.  read.dta converts them to
> factors, but seems to recode them with values from 1 to <number of
> factor levels> (looking at the output of unclass(<varname>)), so the
> original numerical values are lost.

Yes. The R factor type should not be used if you want the original levels. 
It is not a 'labelled numeric' type and the numbers are an implementation 

>  Using convert.factors=FALSE
> preserves the values, but seems to discard the labels.

It doesn't discard the labels. They are kept in the attributes of the data 


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