Rethinking Economic Systems: A Study Of Agricultural Societies

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Cross-Cultural Research


A cluster analysis of data from societies in the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample reveals that agricultural societies usually have one of four quite different economic systems. Although many anthropologists and historians consider agricultural economic Systems to be the outcome of environmental, social, social-structural, and political variables, a statistical analysis indicates that very few such variables are correlated with the derived economic systems. The systems are thus revealed to stand as independent entities and are worthy of more intensive study.

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