RECLINK: Stata module to probabilistically match records
Record linkage involves attempting match records from two different data files that do not share a unique and reliable key field. It can be a tedious and challenging task when working with multiple administrative databases where one wants to match subjects using names, addresses and other identifiers that may have spelling and formatting variations. Formal record linkage methods often employ a combination of approximate string comparators and probabilistic matching algorithms to identify the best matches and assess their reliability. Some stand-alone software is available for this task. This presentation will introduce -reclink-, a rudimentary probabilistic record matching program for Stata. -reclink- employs a modified bigram string comparator and allows user-specified match and non-match weights. The algorithm also provides for blocking (both "or" and "and") to help improve speed for this otherwise slow procedure.
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