Cross-Cultural Correlates of the Ownership of Private Property: Two Samples of Murdock's Data

Journal of Socio-Economics Vol/Iss. 24(2) JAI Press Inc. Greenwich, CT Published In Pages: 345-373
By Rudmin, Floyd Webster


The present study aims to evaluate correlations of private property from two of Murdock's datasets, one of 147 societies (1981) and the other of 312 societies (1967). Altogether the author tested 146 variables coded by Murdock against variables regarding the ownership of land and of movables drawn from Murdock (1967), Simmons (1937), and Swanson (1960). In total, there were 51 statistically significant correlations between private property ownership and other variables. Additionally, the author summarizes the results from this article and the two that preceded it stating that throughout all of the correlations he ran, the practice of agriculture, the use of cereal grains, and the presence of castes and classes were the only variables that predicted private property in all of the datasets that were utilized.


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


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Atlas of World Cultures (AWC)by other researchers
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)by other researchersa sample of 312 societies from the Atlas were used

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