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


Certain characteristics of societies will be significantly correlated in the same direction in both of Murdock's data sets.


Of the 146 variables tested, 51 were found to be significantly correlated in some way with the private ownership of property. The 37 significant positive predictors are large domestic animals, husbandry, intensive cultivation, agriculture, bovine husbandry, plow cultivation, milking of livestock, cereal grain crops, bride-price, patrilocal marital residence, patrilineal kin groups and exogamy, descriptive cousin terminology, patrilineal sibs or clans, segmented communities, nonsororal polygyny with separate quarters, craft specialization, presence of clans, male dominance in house building, slavery, male dominance in pottery, class stratification by occupation, presence of castes, despised occupational groups, dual class stratification, permanent settlement. populous communities, wall of substantial materials, large population, higher jurisdictions, games of strategy, dense settlement, raised floors, male genital mutilations, judgemental high gods, headmen chosen by election, local jurisdiction, and angular ground plan. The 14 significant negative predictors are gathering, hunting, vegetable crops, equine husbandry, root crops, fishing, bilateral descent, uxorilocal marital residence, exogamous communities, ambilocal marital residence, bride-service, virilocal marital residence, headmen chosen by consensus, and rounded roofs.


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Kendall CorrelationSupported for 51 of 146 variables - see note for directionsp<0.05 for 51 variablesMultiple r valuesUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
AgricultureIndependent variableTillage
Bilateral DescentIndependent variableRule Of Descent
Craft SpecializationIndependent variableOccupational Specialization, Production And Supply, Smiths And Their Crafts
Despised Occupational GroupsIndependent variableOccupational Specialization
Dual Class StratificationIndependent variableClasses
FishingIndependent variableFishing
Games Of StrategyIndependent variableGames
GatheringIndependent variableCollecting
HuntingIndependent variableHunting And Trapping
Male Dominance In House BuildingIndependent variableDwellings, Gender Roles And Issues
Male Genital MutilationsIndependent variableBody Alterations
Patrilocal Marital ResidenceIndependent variableResidence
Raised FloorsIndependent variableStructures
SlaveryIndependent variableSlavery
Bride-priceIndependent variableMode Of Marriage
Root CropsIndependent variableTillage
Murdock's col. 76 "Inheritance of Movable Property"Dependent variableProperty In Movables, Inheritance
Simmon's v28 "Private Property in Objects"Dependent variableOwnership And Control Of Capital, Property In Movables, Property System
Simmon's v29 "Private Property in Land"Dependent variableOwnership And Control Of Capital, Property System, Real Property
Swanson's v6 "Individually Owned Property"Dependent variableProperty System, Ownership And Control Of Capital
Large domestic animalsIndependent variableDomesticated Animals
HusbandryIndependent variableAnimal Husbandry
Intensive cultivationIndependent variableTillage
Bovine husbandryIndependent variableDomesticated Animals
Plow cultivationIndependent variableTillage
Milking of livestockIndependent variableDomesticated Animals
Vegetable cropsIndependent variableTillage, Vegetable Production
Equine husbandryIndependent variableDomesticated Animals
Cereal grain cropsIndependent variableTillage, Cereal Agriculture
Patrilineal kin groups and exogamyIndependent variableRegulation Of Marriage, Kin Groups
Exogamous communityIndependent variableRegulation Of Marriage, Community Structure
Descriptive cousin terminologyIndependent variableKinship Terminology
Ambilocal marital residenceIndependent variableResidence
Patrilineal sibs or clansIndependent variableNONE
Segmented communitiesIndependent variableCommunity Structure
Nonsororal polygyny, separate quartersIndependent variablePolygamy
Bride-serviceIndependent variableMode Of Marriage
Virilocal marital residenceIndependent variableResidence
Presence of classesIndependent variableClasses
Male dominance in potteryIndependent variableSmiths And Their Crafts, Gender Roles And Issues
Class stratification by occupationIndependent variableOccupational Specialization, Classes
Presence of castesIndependent variableCastes
Permanent settlementIndependent variableSettlement Patterns
Populous communitiesIndependent variableCommunity Structure
Wall of substantial materialsIndependent variableArchitecture, Dwellings
Large populationIndependent variablePopulation
Higher jurisdictionsIndependent variableTerritorial Hierarchy
Dense settlementsIndependent variableSettlement Patterns, Community Structure
Headmen chosen by consensusIndependent variableCommunity Heads
Judgmental high godsIndependent variableGeneral Character Of Religion
Headmen chosen by electionIndependent variableCommunity Heads
Local jursidictionsIndependent variableTerritorial Hierarchy
Angular ground plansIndependent variableArchitecture, Dwellings
Rounded roofsIndependent variableArchitecture, Dwellings
Uxorilocal marital residenceIndependent variableResidence