Support #1233

Commuting to work (jsttwt)

Added by Maddalena Ronchi almost 5 years ago. Updated almost 5 years ago.

Data inconsistency
Start date:
% Done:




I want to use the variable jsttwt="minutes spent travelling to work" in the BHPS/UKHLS but I am experiencing some problems. In particular, I find that on average more than 95% of the times the variable is "missing" (i.e. takes values equal to inapplicable, proxy, dont know, etc).
However, if I look at the database and variables description online, the understanding society website reports very different figures! For example, for the last wave of the BHPS online it is reported that the variable is different from missing 46.26% of the times (see: while in the inderesp_r dta I have downloaded the percentage of nonmissing values is considerably smaller - while the number of observations is the same so I am pretty sure I am looking at the right dta.

Can you please help me clarifying the matter?
Thanks a lot for your support!


Updated by Stephanie Auty almost 5 years ago

  • Category set to Data inconsistency
  • Status changed from New to Feedback
  • Assignee set to Maddalena Ronchi
  • Target version set to X M
  • % Done changed from 0 to 30
  • Private changed from Yes to No

Dear Maddalena,

I have checked several waves of data, including the one you mention here, and I find that the data does match the online documentation. Could you check whether you are using the most recent version of the data, and try redownloading a fresh copy?

Please let us know if this does not resolve the issue.

Best wishes,


Updated by Maddalena Ronchi almost 5 years ago

Dear Stephanie, thanks a lot for your quick reply!
I have tried redowloading the data before wirting to the support center and I have dowloaded them from this link:

Is this correct?


Updated by Maddalena Ronchi almost 5 years ago

I have also just re-downloaded the following dta:
If i try to use bhps_w18>br_indresp and then I tab br_jsttwtb I get a value different from (i) inapplicable; (ii) proxy; (iii) don't know onlu slightly less than 4% of the times..


Updated by Maddalena Ronchi almost 5 years ago

Dear Staphanie, I have found the problem: my questions refers to the variable jsttwt, but I have copied for you the link referring to the variable jbttwt, sorry for the confusion!
If I tab the variable jbttwt I do indeed get the right figures. May I just ask what is the difference between the two variables then?

thanks again,


Updated by Stephanie Auty almost 5 years ago

  • % Done changed from 30 to 70

Dear Maddalena,

If you are using BHPS and Understanding Society together it is better to use as this is the harmonised dataset.

w_jbttwt is the variable which records travel time to work for employed people (w_jbsemp==1), w_jsttwt is whether a self employed person (w_jbsemp==2) has answered a number of minutes or it doesn't apply to them, and w_jsttwtb is the number of minutes of travel time for a self employed person, if that does apply.

Best wishes,


Updated by Gundi Knies almost 5 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Resolved
  • % Done changed from 70 to 100

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