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I have two datasets- matching years, different sources. They are matchable by FIPS code, but my problem is 1) that the first data set, from which I am drawing my independent variable data, only has the five-digit FIPS code data, and my other data set has information disaggregated down to the eleven digit level. Any thoughts on combining these more disaggregated data?

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You easiest answer is to create a new field in your table with the longer value; than extract the left 5 characters and insert them into the new field. Then you can join on that field without having made any integrity changing updates to the underlying data.

Any database has a function to select a substring of a value.

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