Maria Rivera, Alina Seebacher, Jose María Díaz Puente


In the political system and in public perception, the well-functioning of economy is frequently equalled to the output of the national economy–that is, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, during the last decades, this narrow conception of economic prosperity started to erode. This paper describes the scientific discussion surrounding the topic of “economy” in rural places, with the objective of exploring who is setting the agenda and which themes are prevalent. We examine 102 journal papers published during the last decade and design a methodological frame based on Nvivo10 software which combines quantitative analysis of geographical attributes (geographical location; journal’s precedence; author’s institution) and qualitative content analysis of the selected articles. Our results put forward that “rural economy” is conceptually linked to different societal spheres in areas such as development and progress, society and community, resources and sustainability. However, it is authors coming from developed countries the ones that mainly treat this issue and base their studies mainly on developing countries. Therefore it can be concluded that scientific discourse around rural economy deals with issues of interest to developed countries, but that it has, however, started to get linked to social and environmental aspects, and it is through achieving a balance between them that rural prosperity will be achieved.

Keywords: content analysis; geographical distribution; prosperity; rural economy; scientific agenda.

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