Cross-Cultural Correlates of the Ownership of Private Property

Social Science Research Vol/Iss. 21(1) Elsevier Amsterdam Published In Pages: 57-83
By Rudmin, Floyd Webster


The present study aims to assess the reliability of Simmons' (1937) database of 109 variables coded for 71 societies. Simmons' data was evaluated against matching societies and variables from Murdock's (1967) Ethnographic Atlas. The ultimate purpose of Rudmin's analysis is to identify the features of societies that are correlated with the private ownership of property. To do so, Simmons' reliable variables are tested against four measures of property ownership, two from Simmons and two from Murdock. Rudmin discusses results and speculates why certain clusters of societal variables correlate with private property ownership.


This article is first in a series of four: Rudmin, 1992a; Rudmin 1992b; Rudmin, 1995; Rudmin, 1996.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)by other researchersEA cases matching those of Simmons' were used (n=70)
Simmons' (1937)by other researchers71 societies originally sampled and coded

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