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Open AccessArticle

The Role of Women in a Family Economy. A Bibliometric Analysis in Contexts of Poverty

1
International Chair of Social Responsibility, Catholic University of Murcia, 30107 Murcia, Spain
2
Department of Contemporary Humanities, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
3
Department of Management-1, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
4
Department of Economics and Business, University of Almeria, 04120 Almeria, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410328
Received: 17 November 2020 / Revised: 2 December 2020 / Accepted: 9 December 2020 / Published: 10 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women and Sustainability)

Abstract

The concept of family economy in the context of extreme poverty is of interest when it comes to analyzing the strategies displayed to prevent or reduce the effects of this situation of exclusion. Gender roles in the nucleus of the family institution will indicate the distribution of these tasks, so that we can understand, in the case of the role of women, the specific weight of their actions in this scenario. For this work, an investigation of our object of study was carried out for the period 1968–2019. A bibliometric analysis of 2182 articles was carried out in which the final versions of articles, books, and book chapters whose subject matter was related to the categories of family economy and poverty were included. The most productive journal was the Journal of Development Economics, while World Economies was the most cited. The authors with the most articles were Ravaillon, Sadoulet, and Lanjouw. The most productive institution was the World Bank. The country with the most publications and citations was the United States. Future research should focus on analyzing the role of women within the family economy in the context of poverty. Thus, a line of research is proposed that also includes the proposals from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which means an urgent call for action by all countries.
Keywords: family economy; household; poverty; sustainable development; female; gender transformative approaches family economy; household; poverty; sustainable development; female; gender transformative approaches

1. Introduction

In contemporary societies, the concept of family has evolved or diversified into different models that suggest we reconsider the meaning, structure, and relationships that are established in the current family context. All these cultural, social, economic, and normative changes are, in certain societies, shaping these new modalities and roles in the family scenario. The logics of the new models of production, the relationships established in the globalization, or the incorporation of women into the labor market—and thus the establishment of conciliation measures—would be some socio-economic phenomena that could explain the changes to which we refer to in the sphere of the family.
In the context of center-periphery relations, and taking into account the scenarios of structural poverty, the family is also considered as one of the cultural institutions affected by the logic of the hegemonic economic systems in each historical moment [1,2]. In this sense, we can observe how the so-called traditional family, the modern family, or the different current family modalities would be linked to different historical moments of predominance of the domestic or agrarian economy, the industrial one, and that of services or new technologies, respectively [3]. On the other hand, in this poverty scenario where we aim to analyze data, we should point out the existence of strategies of self-provision and of family economies—male/female roles, care, food supply—differentiated in relation to the peripheries and not so much to the center, thus revealing the existence of significant gender roles in the same context of the family economy.
At this point, we must refer to the concept of the articulation of different modes of production in a given social formation, so that we can speak of the co-existence between different modes, with the hegemony of one of them that would mark the guidelines and logics in structural terms [4,5,6]. In the so-called underdeveloped/developing countries, where the phenomenon of structural poverty occurs, we can also attend to this co-existence between informal economies and markets linked to capitalist logic. Among these informal economies, the family economy is presented as a scenario where gender roles and the articulation between informal and formal activities occurs: a combination of obtaining benefits in the productive sphere and the deployment of unpaid activities that allow subsistence and/or self-sufficiency [7].
We must mention the implications that the United Nations 2030 Agenda will have in our object of study as well as the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have been proposed as concrete action scenarios. The commitments that bind the countries attached to the achievement of these objectives point toward the complex task of eradicating poverty in all its forms including extreme poverty. As we know, these objectives replace the Millennium Development Goals, with the intention of completing what they were not able to satisfy. In this task, the SDGs consider action in a triple dimension: social, economic, and environmental. From the social and economic sphere, we must point out the importance of taking into account these SDGs and the link to our study interest.
Therefore, in the context of structural poverty, we are interested in addressing the idea of family economy in terms of its meaning, scope, and implications. More specifically, we pay attention to gender relations, that is, to the roles established within the framework of family economy, and, specifically, attend to the role of women linked to the field of informal economies. The role of women in care activities and their relevance is a key element in the social reproduction of the family as a socio-cultural institution [8,9,10,11]. At this point, we should mention that we understand socio-cultural reproduction as the social process through which culture is reproduced across generations, especially through the socializing influence of major institutions [12]. We think that this review will allow us to offer a perspective on present and future lines of research where women appear as key figures.
In this regard, we aim to offer a review of the main literature that will allow us to observe a distinction between formal and informal economies in the family nucleus, and in this case, a distribution of tasks by gender, where the role of women would be linked to informal and unpaid spheres. This analysis, as we mentioned, will lead us to consider the relevance of opening lines of research that deal with studying the phenomenon of gender and family economy.
Therefore, we advance the relevance of establishing future lines of research that deal with the gender issue in contexts of poverty. This would imply the relevance of attending to the role of women in the family context and in scenarios of poverty, so that works are proposed in which the participation of women, the scope of their activity, and the relationship established between women is reinterpreted, and unpaid tasks (linked to the reproductive and care sphere) and formal economies linked to the market. Furthermore, it is precisely in these terms that the effectiveness of the gender perspective that the 2030 Agenda requires in the interrelation of some of its Sustainable Development Goals would be justified.
Therefore, in order to analyze these questions, we studied a sample of a total of 2182 articles. The sample was obtained from the Scopus database, in which the final versions of articles, books, and book chapters whose themes were related to the family economy and poverty were studied.

2. Literature Review

From the review of the most relevant literature in this field, we understand that it would be appropriate to establish three sections: (1) studies that focus on the review of the family economy in the context of poverty; (2) the relationship between family economy, modes of production and domestic work; and (3) gender relations and reproduction [13] in the context of the family economy.

2.1. Studies on Poverty and Family Economy

To address the most relevant literature in the field of poverty and its relationship with the idea of family economy, it would be interesting to start with a review of the precepts of the so-called dependency theory [14,15,16]. This theory offers three starting elements: (a) the existence of a world capitalist system, where developed societies co-exist with others that are not a center-periphery relationship [16,17]; (b) its interest in the study of so-called underdeveloped societies; and (c) the idea that development and underdevelopment would be two poles of the same phenomenon: they would thus be functionally linked and, therefore, interact and condition each other [18,19]. From this theory, it follows that the capitalist system will have two consequences that occur simultaneously: development in the center and underdevelopment in the periphery [20], and in these terms, the idea of world-system economy is configured [17].
The dependency theory, although it may pose some ambiguity in terms of external dependence and structural dependence, it allows us to focus on global dynamics as well as the articulation between different modes of production, and thus deals with how the concept of underdevelopment and structural poverty is approached. In this sense, it is pertinent to point out those proposals that underline the interest in attending to the relations of production to the idea that a certain system derives from the relations of production, and not so much from the exchange itself [21]. In this respect, and linked to the forms of production, the capitalist system hierarchizes the territory, imposes an unequal exchange, and creates peripheries even in the same territory [22].
The concept of poverty will vary according to the factors that are taken into account to assess its degree. That is, if we attend to different organizations and disciplines, we will find different “degrees” in relation to the idea of poverty. Thus, the concepts of absolute poverty and relative poverty attend to the economic dimensions; the definition offered by the United Nations interprets access to the socio-economic dimension to assess poverty; the World Bank maintains the previous criteria and includes Human Rights; from Economics, the access to resources and opportunities to create a standard of living is addressed; Sociology studies include social variables such as dignity and quality of life [23]; from Psychology, reference is made to the stigmatization that poverty implies [24]; from the Political Sciences, the concepts of freedom, representation, and violation of Human Rights are addressed; and finally, we could refer to the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO), which takes into account access to health facilities, subsistence, and adequate nutrition [9,25,26].
Therefore, the dimension of poverty that is usually presented in European and international studies refers to the forms of poverty related to insufficient income to address ordinary needs: those that must be faced in the short-term, both expenses current as investment expenses [27]. At this point, some authors point out that when speaking of poverty, it is not possible to refer only to economic deficiencies, since there are segregation factors that also prevent the full integration of people in the workplace, training, or culture. In this sense, the concept of social exclusion is pointed out as the most appropriate to talk about all those situations in which, beyond economic deprivation, there is a depreciation of certain basic rights and freedoms [28,29].
However, we understand that this type of interpretation of the concept of social exclusion should be understood in comparative contexts, that is, in the scenario of “developed” societies where there are marginalized or marginalized population centers at risk or in a situation of social exclusion. In this case, our interest attends to the literature that studies the phenomenon of structural poverty in those territories where extreme poverty occurs, and it is there where we ask ourselves about their family economy and gender relations.
According to some authors, poverty can be considered as a form of structural or indirect violence, and manifests itself as an unequal distribution of power and, therefore, as different life opportunities. Sometimes, situations of structural poverty make use of this type of structural violence, that is, of those cultural institutions—among which gender would also be found—to justify it, and even conceive it as inevitable [30,31,32]. Regarding the concept of extreme poverty, it is interpreted as a condition that prevents individuals from participating in the economic reality; on the other hand, it is understood that this condition prevents extreme, which implies malnutrition and hunger, and prevents the proposal of any more life projects beyond survival [33,34,35].
In this case, we are interested in reviewing studies that have examined the possibilities of development and/or economies supported by the family structure in this context of poverty. Accordingly, we can find works that address the possibilities of entrepreneurship in these scenarios [36,37]; others that point toward the redistribution of resources [38,39]; and those that describe micro-credit experiences that make possible, under certain circumstances, the exit from this condition of poverty [40,41,42].
In this particular matter, in the review of the literature related to the relationship between poverty and the family economy, we could also establish the existence of four main approaches: (1) survival strategies, which focus on the structure, composition and the domestic cycle; (2) network approach that prioritizes its analysis on the capacity of family units to articulate and survive; (3) focus on assets and opportunity structure, which focuses on the capacities of the community itself [43]; and (4) life course approach, which would focus on family strategies in a context of sociocultural and institutional change [44,45].
Table 1 presents the main articles and those with the most citations in relation to our analysis interest.
We can see that in many cases, these articles collected in Table 1 are concerned with studying family economic activity—either in relation to the strategies carried out in the family nucleus, or in evaluating the impact of social and economic aspects in this nucleus—in a rural context. This corresponds to a research tradition from sociology, economics, and anthropology, which, from the 1960s on, is interested in studying the phenomenon of decision-making in family units in rural contexts, mostly linked to the area of the so-called developing countries. In the table, we can see that the article by Ellis (1998) ranked as the most reviewed on this matter, effectively dealing with household strategies and rural livelihood diversification.
Finally, we must mention the “institutional” references to the concept of poverty. In this sense, the United Nations refers to the fact that poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making.

2.2. Family Economy and Modes of Production: Domestic Work

From the 30s, we can find the theses of economists [56,57] that question the precepts of those called neoclassicals who considered production and consumption as two isolated events. In other words, the interpretation that companies—public and private—are responsible for productive activity, while individuals and families deal exclusively with consuming. In response to this perspective, also called formalist [58,59], the proposals of the so-called substantivists arise, those interested in studying the economic activities linked to the other cultural institutions [60,61].
These authors understand that the economic sphere, which is emancipated from the rest of the social and cultural institutions in concrete historical sequences, will determine the structure and behavior of the rest of social constructs, among them, kinship relationships. Following this thesis, in archaic societies or traditional communities, the economy would be “embedded” in the remaining social institutions. This would imply that the “economic event” occurred as “a momentary episode in a continuous social relationship” [62]. In contrast, the logic of the capitalist production system would propose a different scenario, limited in time and space, where capital accumulation becomes an end-in-itself, detached from the other cultural institutions.
It will be these theses that encourage different researchers to carry out field work in developing countries or the so-called Third World, thus trying to contrast the reality of the so-called industrialized European societies with economic and family relationships in other contexts. Two fields of interest will thus emerge: the so-called peasant studies and the study of economies or domestic work.
Regarding peasant studies, it is from 1980 when the studies on the peasantry began to generate a theoretical body of interest from sociology and economics. However, from the field of social and cultural anthropology, we could refer to previous works that, starting in the 1930s, are interested in the study of human communities in rural areas without the concept of peasants still having an analytical value [63,64,65]. Precisely, in this area of peasant production, these first works refer to two elements as fundamental to explain the reproduction of this type of economy: the use of family labor power and the lack of capital accumulation. In this debate, the concept of simple mercantile production is introduced, which explains the existence of this mode of production together with the hegemonic capitalist production system [66].
On the other hand, domestic economies cannot be understood outside the context of the imperatives of the market and, therefore, of wage labor [67]. In this respect, different feminist studies, which we will refer to in the next section in more detail, have shown how the forms of unpaid work carried out in the home are an integral part of the capitalist system. They have questioned that the market is the only standard of value and have called attention to the importance of unwaged work, supply and maintenance activities, socialization processes, and the transmission of cultural knowledge [68].
It is very interesting for the review that we offer here to address the distinction that, in the context of these domestic economies, some authors make between self-provisioning activities and domestic work itself. The former would be linked to those tasks aimed at subsistence itself, without dealing with market relations. In contrast, the second type of non-commodified activities [22] would be constituted by this domestic work itself. Like the previous one, it would be carried out outside the market, but its function in the social—family—and economic system would be very different: upbringing, caring for the sick and elderly, and feeding.
This domestic labor, unlike provisioning, does not affect the value of labor power for two reasons: first, because it is carried out in social relations outside the market, and second, because it does not affect the socially necessary labor time for producing the means of subsistence [69]. Precisely, this non-commercialized work will be more important in the countries of the “periphery” due to the lower presence of wage labor and the existence of simple commercial production. Therefore, as different authors explain, forms of work—and specifically this relationship between the domestic economy and “peripheral countries”—must be analyzed in specific contexts, and thus interpret how they combine and interact [70,71,72].
Therefore, when analyzing the family context in terms of its division of labor, we can find contradictions. We can find, on the one hand, domestic strategies that would imply a distribution of roles and a display of solidarity among the members. At the same time, it would be about relationships of a conflictive nature as they are linked to forms of internal hierarchy and domination, family reproduction being an integral part of the reproduction of social classes [73].

2.3. Gender Relations and Reproduction in the Context of the Family Economy

From the aforementioned Marxist approaches, which propose that concept of articulation of different modes of production, they refer to the concept of reproduction to explain the survival and operation of certain modes of production. In this sense, and from a feminist studies perspective, the division of labor is considered as the central axis that explains the subordination of women in the context of the family economy [74,75,76,77,78].
We find ourselves before that production/reproduction binomial, which Marx had already introduced in his drawing of the conceptual scheme of capitalism [79], which reflects the separation between work environment and family environment. From Marx’s own proposal and works raised from an anthropological perspective—the aforementioned substantivists and those Marxist approaches from the 70s—it is argued that there is no “reproductive sphere” separate from the productive one. It is understood, therefore, the idea of the economy embedded in the other social and cultural institutions, so that the reproductive is part of the family’s own productive sphere.
Along this line of trying to unravel the concept—and their alleged differences—of production and reproduction in the family context, we can find authors who establish a distinction between three types of reproduction. A distinction is made between human or biological reproduction, the reproduction of work and social reproduction. It is noted that each level indicates different meanings of abstraction, each of which represents different implications for gender relations [80,81]. In this network of representations in the work context, typical of a specific cultural system, Yanagisako and Collier point to the existence of more complex binomials [82]. On one hand, one that contains material aspects-technology-participation of both genders-paid activity-factory-money and, on the other, people-biology-female-activity without salary-family-love [83]. It is a highly relevant approach, since it allows for the establishment of broader and more complex analytical categories to interpret the entire set of functions and institutions linked to the socio-cultural process of the family economy and gender relations in their context.
In the context of poverty in which we settle, it would be interesting to point out those works that, from the anthropological discipline, analyze the domestic sphere as a framework for broad reproduction. Thus, the work of Meillassoux (1977) in African communities analyzes how wealth—the accumulation of capital—would come from the ability to have broad lineages, so that the concept of polygamy would allow the appropriation of the reproductive capacities of women [84]. In this respect, the domestic economy would be the basis of operation of this type of subsistence economy, and at the same time, the articulation between this type of economy with capitalism in its expansion phase and co-existence with these domestic economies. There are criticisms of this proposal, and they interpret that this author assumes the subordination of women in this context, also contemplating women only in their role of subordination-reproduction [85].
Along the same lines, we found research on domestic work, the informal economy, or even forms of self-sufficiency that indicate the significant weight of unpaid activities. It was interpreted in this case as a set of subsidiary activities, unpaid, but of great importance in defraying the costs of the labor force and, therefore, contributing to the social and cultural reproduction of the family unit [67,86].

3. Data and Methodology

To carry out this research, the application of the bibliometric analysis technique was used for a sample of 2182 articles from 1968 to 2019. The sample was obtained from the Scopus database, in which the final versions of articles, books, and book chapters whose themes are related to the family economy and poverty.
All analyses were performed using the bibliometric method [87,88,89]. Through this method, which has been used in more than 3200 investigations, the most relevant aspects of the subject under study were identified and described. Mainly, aspects such as evolution, trends, key actors (authors, countries, journals, institutions), and the identification of keywords and semantic structure of research [90,91]. These last two variables were represented by bibliometric maps constructed with VOSviewer software, version 1.6.11., Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands. In this regard, Figure 1 represents the main stages of our study.

Main Stages in the Process

The period of analysis selected (1968 to 2019) contained scientific articles related to family economy and poverty. This period included the first paper “Negative taxation and poverty”, published in 1968 by Bender and Green [92]. This wide selection aims to improve our understanding of the five approaches identified in the state-of-the-art and looks to go deeper in the poverty evolution trends in the economy of family or household. The bibliographic indicators included in this study are: the annual number of papers, the number of papers per author (A), the total number of citations per author (C), number of countries, the annual number of citations, the number of journals and institutions as well as the evolution trends of the poverty and family economy field in accordance with the keywords emergence (Table 2). In this sense, the methodology used was to perform a complete search in the Scopus database, using a search string with the terms “family” or “household” and “economy” to examine the subfields of the title, abstract, and keywords during a period of 51 years from 1968 to 2019. The sample of analyzed articles included scientific articles (ar), books (bk), and chapters books (ch), both open and non-open access. The final sample contained a total of 2182 documents.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1. Evolution of Scientific Production

Table 3 shows the evolution of the main characteristics of the volume of articles published on the family economy and poverty from 1968 to 2019. The time horizon of the study, 51 years, was divided into four-year periods, in order to facilitate the analysis. In this time horizon, interest in research on this subject has been constantly increasing, especially since the beginning of the 20th century.
Thus, while in the first period (1968–1971) only two articles were published on this topic, in the last four-year period analyzed (2016–2019), the number rose to 539, that is, practically 270 times more. The increase in the number of publications is especially accentuated in the last four years, where 24.7% of the total articles published in the analyzed period were published with 539 articles. In this same sense, during the last eight years (2012–2019), 45% of the articles (978) were published, with 2019 being the year in which the most publications were obtained, with 164. It is clear that the renewed interest in this issue may be due to the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals of 2015, which places poverty as a priority objective.
During the period under review, the total number of authors who contributed to this research topic was 4339. As with the volume of articles, the total number of authors also increased in geometric progression during the period analyzed. In the last four years (2016–2019), 32.2% of the total authors of the 51-year period are concentrated. Regarding the average number of authors per article, if in the four-year period 1968–1971, the average number of authors per article was 1.5, in the last period (2016–2019) it increased to 2.6, that is, this was the four-year period with the highest average in the time horizon studied. In this regard, it should be noted that the increase in the number of co-authors per article is a growing trend in all disciplines.
On the other hand, in the period analyzed (1968–2019), the total number of countries that have contributed to the publication of articles related to this topic was 133. Thus, the number of countries has increased from two (1968–1971) to 94 (2016–2019).
Unlike other studies, the first articles on the subject tended to receive a significant number of citations, and the two articles published in the first period (1968–1971) only received one appointment. From there, over the years, the following articles have focused on the subject and the main lines of research. Thus, in the last four-year period analyzed (2016–2019), the number of citations amounted to 1781, that is, an average of 3.3 citations per article, despite the fact that this four-year period contained the most recent articles and, therefore, they did not receive all possible appointments.
Finally, the total number of journals where articles on this subject were published was 1166 throughout the time horizon. Thus, it increased from 2 o’clock in the first period examined to 381 o’clock in the last four years (2016–2019), which also represents 32.7% of the total number of journals for the entire period analyzed.
Figure 1 shows the evolution in the number of articles as well as the polynomial adjustment that can be made to the evolution in this series. In addition to the notable increase in the number of articles published in the last eight years, the perfect parabolic adjustment obtained stands out, which denotes a more than proportional growth in the number of articles in the entire series analyzed. It is an ever-increasing curve, in geometric progression, in which none of the sections analyzed showed a decline in the number of articles published, with respect to the immediately previous period.

4.2. Analysis of Scientific Production by Areas: Journals, Authors, and Countries

4.2.1. Distribution of Publications by Subject Area and Journal

During the time horizon analyzed of 1968–2019, there were various categories where works related to the relationship between poverty and the family economy have been found. According to the Scopus classification, there were a total of 27 subject areas in which the 2182 articles in this sample were classified. In this regard, we have to inform that an article may be classified in more than one subject area, depending on the author and publisher’s own interest.
Thus, Figure 2 presents the evolution of the seven main thematic areas where Scopus links the articles on the research topic during the time horizon examined (1968–2019).
The Social Science category is the outstanding one during the entire period studied, with 39% of the articles published (1400) in this category. They are followed, in order of importance, by the categories Economics, Econometrics, and Finance (19%, 686), Environmental Science (8.5%, 304), Medicine (6%, 214), Agricultural and Biological Sciences (5.8%, 210), Business, Management, and Accounting (5.1%, 185), and Arts and Humanities (5.1%, 182). Thus, the seven most prominent categories represent 88.5% of the documents published from 1968 to 2019. Furthermore, the other subject areas did not exceed 2.5% of the total articles published.
The first three categories, Social Science, Economics, Econometrics and Finance and Environmental Science, were the only subject areas that had articles published in all four-year periods analyzed.
The association of the publications with the theme of this article led us to believe that the social and economic aspects were the most relevant in the analysis of poverty and the family economy, although the environmental, medical and field aspects cannot be lost sight of in rural areas.
Table 4 shows the characteristics of the articles from the main journals on the global research on poverty within the framework of the family economy. In the ranking of the 20 journals with the most published articles, the high percentage of journals (75%) that belonged to the first quartile (Q1) of the 2019 SJR index stands out. Furthermore, the greatest impact factor, SJR, was presented by the Journal of Development Economics with 3.585 (Q1), followed by Economic Development and Cultural Change with 3.483 (Q1).
World Development was the journal that had published the most articles in the time horizon considered (75, 3.4%), followed by the Journal of African Economies (44, 2.0%). The top 20 journals on this research topic published 18.50% (403) of the total articles. On the other hand, World Development is one of the most constant journals in the publication of articles related to the subject, since 1983. At the same time, together with the Journal of African Economies, it is the journal that has occupied the first position the most times in the ranking of magazines with the highest number of articles. In the last four-year period, 2016–2019, the three journals that had published the most on the subject were: World Development, International Journal of Social Economics, and Social Indicators Research.
On the other hand, if the interest of the scientific community in the works is the object of the subject analyzed, it is necessary to highlight the high number of citations per article of the journal Economic Development and Cultural Change (66.86 citations per article), in accordance with the high impact index it presents (3.483 Q1). Next in importance, according to the average number of citations to their articles, are the Journal of Development Studies (61.78 citations per article) and World Development (47.87 citations per article).
It has been observed that, over the years, the research topic has been attracting more journals and authors, as shown by the growth in the number of articles and the variety of interested journals. Thus, by country, those of European origin stand out: the United Kingdom (13) and Netherlands (3), followed at a certain distance by American magazines (3).
Finally, it is important to note that none of the pioneering journals in the study of poverty and the family economy is in the top 20 that is presented in Table 4. This is the case of the Annals of The American Academy of Political And Social Science and Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, which were the first to publish articles on this subject in the first four-year period (1968–1972).

4.2.2. Productivity of Authors

Table 5 presents the main variables of the articles written by the most prolific authors during the period 1968–2019. It is noteworthy that four authors in this ranking are of American origin and only three are of European origin (Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom). This situation is in contrast with the relevance of the most important journals on this subject in which European authors do not present the largest number of published articles.
The most productive author on the research topic is Martin Ravallion, from the University of Malaysia, with nine published articles, followed by the American, Sadoulet (9) and the Dutch Lanjouw (8), from the University of California and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, respectively. In any case, Martin Ravallion, despite the fact that he was not the first to start writing about this subject, since his first article was from 1995, was the author with the highest number of articles, with the highest number of citations (311), and consequently, with a higher average number of citations per article (34.56). In addition, Ravallion also stands out with the highest h-index (9), followed by Sadoulet and Lanjouw, with a record of 8 each. In this ranking, none of these authors had published in 2019, the last year of the sample, so we could expect some changes in the top ten in the next years.
Figure 3 shows the map of collaboration between the main authors who have published on poverty in the family economy, based on the co-authorship analysis. In this figure, the colors represent the different clusters formed by the work communities in the production of articles, while the size of the circle varies according to the number of articles published by each author in the sample. The network showed a great dispersion in the association of authors by co-authorship during the period analyzed (1968–2019). Thus, it was observed that the limited scientific collaboration between authors also promoted the scope of the subject, since several of the most prolific authors did not collaborate assiduously with a stable network of authors. In Figure 3, the red cluster was formed by Huanj, J. and Rozelle, S, which had the largest collaboration network. However, none of the first three authors in Table 5 appeared to participate in an international collaboration network on poverty and family economy.

4.2.3. Main Institutions and Countries

Table 6 presents the ten most prolific research institutions in the publication of articles during the period of 1968–2019. In this ranking, it was observed that the institutions had a varied origin. Those of European origin represented 30% (University of Oxford, University of Sussex, Wageningen University & Research, and the University of Manchester), the United States also represented 30% (The World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute, Cornell University, and University of California), and 20% South African (University of Cape Town and University of KwaZulu-Natal).
The World Bank is the most prolific institution with 83 articles as well as the one with the highest number of citations: 3580 and also has the highest h-index: 31. However, the highest average number of citations was obtained by works attached to the University of California, with 59.7 citations per article, followed by the World Bank, with 43.1 citations per article.
On the other hand, Wageningen University & Research was the institution with the highest percentage of international collaboration (77.78%). However, this international exposure does not translate into more citations than in the case of articles written without international co-authorship. Only at the World Bank and Wageningen University & Research has international co-authorship been profitable, since the articles published by these institutions have a much higher number of international citations of 53.11 and 57.67 citations per article, respectively.
Table 7 lists the main variables of the countries with the highest scientific production on poverty and the family economy. In view of the results, it was observed that United States was the country with the most publications (593) and with the highest h-index (65). In addition, it was the country with the highest number of citations: 12,659, that is, ten times more than the average of the top ten countries listed in Table 7. This result is closely linked to the importance that the World Bank has in international scientific production and influences the number of publications that are assigned to the United States. The second country with the highest number of articles is the United Kingdom (304), although it holds the first position in terms of the average number of citations (25.70 citations per article).
The sample of countries that appeared in the top ten suggests the importance of Anglo-Saxon publications, since the most relevant countries in this subject of study are linked to the United States and countries that are part of the Commonwealth.
The United States has also led the ranking of the most productive countries since 1980. Only in the four-year period of 1976–1979 did the United Kingdom surpass the United States in the number of articles related to poverty and the family economy. In the last four years (2016–2019), China has come to occupy the fourth position, after India, with 34 articles, which represents 40% of its total production (85 articles). In the future, this inertia is sure to consolidate China and India at the top of this table. In contrast, the Netherlands, which was in fourth position in the four-year period of 2004–2007, was in 26th position in the last period.
In short, the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, and South Africa are the main driving countries for research topics related to poverty and the family economy. Specifically, these five countries grouped 51.6% of the total articles in the sample.
Table 8 shows the variables related to international collaboration between the different countries, ordered by scientific productivity in the period examined (1968–2019). The countries with the highest percentage of work carried out through international collaboration were the Netherlands with 60.94% (36 countries), followed by France (55.56%, 27 countries), Germany (54.02%, 36 countries), and China (52.94%, 16 countries). In this ranking, India was the country with the lowest percentage of international collaboration (32.52%, 14 countries).
On the other hand, it is noteworthy that, except for the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, in the other countries in Table 8, the average number of citations of articles with international co-authorship was higher than those made without these collaborations.
Figure 4 shows a map of collaboration between the main countries based on the co-authorship analysis. The different colors represent the different clusters formed by the groups of countries, while the diameter of the circle varies depending on the number of articles published by each country. The VOSviewer software grouped them into seven components.
Cluster 1, in red, was the most numerous and included nine countries and was headed by the United Kingdom. South Africa and the Netherlands also belonged to this cluster, which also belonged to the top ten countries with the highest scientific production. The nine countries that made up this cluster group had 608 articles, that is, 27.9% of the total sample. Cluster 2, in green, was made up of eight countries led by Germany (87). The other countries with which it relates were: Canada (81), Sweden (31), Brazil (30), Norway (29), the Russian Federation (28), Denmark (22), and Finland (11). Together, these countries grouped 319 publications, that is, 14.6% of the total. Cluster 3, in blue, was led by Australia (91) and included countries such as Indonesia (27), Malaysia (27), Bangladesh (25), Philippines (25), and Thailand (16). Thus, cluster 3 managed to group nine (6%), of the total articles in the sample, that is, 211 articles. The following four clusters grouped 47% of the sample, so were less relevant.

4.3. Keyword Analysis

The sample of 2182 articles contained a total of 6866 keywords. Table 9 shows the 25 most used keywords in this research. These terms express the object of study of the articles, so their analysis allowed us to obtain information on the interests that have been generated throughout this research line.
We found it predictable that among the most prominent keywords in the sample was poverty (860 documents, 39.4%), since it was one of the main search terms. However, it is striking that among the five most prominent keywords, we also found rural-economy (354 documents, 16.2%). This keyword appeared for the first time in the four-year period of 1992–1995, when it occupied position 183, with only two articles that related it to poverty and family economy. However, from 2000 on, it was placed in the second position, which justifies the scientific interest in focusing on the analysis of poverty in rural areas. In this sense, in the tenth position of the ranking in Table 8, the terms rural-area (116 documents, 5.3%) and rural-development (71 documents, 3%) also appeared strongly (3%), and climbed to the sixth and twenty-fourth positions in the last four years of 2016–2019. The rise in the ranking of keywords related to rural areas is in contrast with the loss of relevance of the term agriculture (78 documents, 3.6%), which in the four-year period 1976–1979 occupied the fourth position and in the last four-year period, it moved to 20th place.
From a gender perspective, it is interesting the relevance that the concept of women acquires in scientific documents that deal with poverty in the context of household. Thus, the term woman/women (142 documents, 6.5%) was in seventh position. In the time horizon considered, this term has not ceased to acquire relevance, which justifies a vision from the gender perspective of family poverty.
The relationship among the different keywords in the sample can be seen in Figure 5, which allowed us to glimpse the main research trends of the sample considered. This grouping was based on the co-occurrence method used by the VOSviewer application when analyzing the simultaneity of keywords in the articles in the sample. Thus, the color of the nodes was used to distinguish the different clusters according to the number of co-occurrences, while their size varied according to the number of repetitions. In this sense, the VOSviewer software tool has made it possible to detect three main lines of research developed by the different scientific communities. According to the term associated with a greater number of articles within each component, the cluster and research lined a linked batch around “Poverty”, “Economics and Developing countries”, and “Woman and family”.
The first grouping of keywords was made around the red cluster, with 201 relevant terms that were dedicated to the study of poverty and its impact in various areas. This cluster grouped the largest number of keywords and articles. Among the most important keywords in this cluster were: poverty (860 documents), rural-economy (354), household-income (217), rural-area (116), and income-distribution (112). This topic remains dominant in 53.03% of the articles in the sample and it is logical since it includes all the search terms that gave rise to the sample of 2182 articles (Table 2).
The second cluster (green) batched 90 keywords that made up a research line around the socioeconomic aspects of poverty and its impact on development. In this sense, the most used terms in this cluster were: economics (177 documents), developing-country (113), socioeconomic-factors (106), socioeconomics (103), and demography (78). The theme of the cluster was present in 23.74% of the articles in the sample.
Finally, the third cluster (blue) with 88 keywords (23.2% of the sample) was dedicated to the study of women and the family. The most recurrent term in the articles corresponding to this cluster was woman/women (142 documents), male (96), adult (86), household (58), and child (53). It should be noted that this third cluster was not the object of the search (Table 2) and revealed an important fact: the role of women in the family environment in the scientific literature that studies poverty at home.
We present Figure 6 in order to analyze the gender perspective in more detail in the scientific literature on poverty. It is an expansion of the blue cluster, dedicated to women and family, in which the co-occurrence of the term woman was observed. Women with other keywords from this same cluster as well as the relationship with other clusters. In this regard, although it was known that woman/women were the dominant keywords in this cluster, it was also the one with the highest number of relationships with other keywords. These co-occurrence relationships are very strong in the case of poverty, rural-area, and income (red cluster) as well as with economics, developing-countries, and employment (green cluster).
Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the relevance of women in the analysis of the scientific literature on poverty in the family sphere and, more specifically, in its effects on employment, the development of countries, and the socioeconomic aspects of poverty. These results are consistent with those references in our bibliographic review. Specifically, it is interesting to point out those investigations from a feminist perspective that refer to the role of women in rural contexts—peasant economies—as an element of not only biological reproduction. We refer to that complementary relationship between informal economies—unpaid, supply, maintenance, food—where the role of women would appear, and the context of the “formal” wage labor.
Finally, the analysis of keywords has not shown a trend in research dedicated solely to the family context, but is rather part of a higher theme, described in the blue cluster. In this sense, it is of interest to investigate these contexts, and expand current lines of research that review the role of women in rural and poverty settings. From this line of research, it would be interesting to look at the economic and reproductive strategies that could be activated, so that the role of women in these areas is understood more broadly.

5. Conclusions

The objective of this study was to analyze the scientific production of the relationship between family economy and poverty through a bibliometric analysis of 2182 articles obtained from the Scopus database. The findings made it possible to identify the main drivers, potential tendencies, and certain gaps in critical knowledge.
The number of articles related to this topic published annually during the period 1968–2019 has been increasing. Since 1980, the rate of publication has increased. While in the first period (1968–1971), only two articles were published on this topic; in the last four-year period analyzed (2016–2019) the number rose to 539, that is, practically 270 times more. The increase in the number of publications is especially accentuated in the last four years, where 24.7% of the total articles published in the analyzed period were published, with 539 articles. In this same sense, during the last eight years (2012–2019), 45% of the articles (978) were published
The Social Science category is the outstanding one during the entire period studied, with 39% of the articles published (1400) in this category. This was followed, in order of importance, by the categories Economics, Econometrics and Finance (19%, 686), Environmental Science (8.5%, 304), Medicine (6%, 214), Agricultural and Biological Sciences (5.8%, 210), Business, Management and Accounting (5.1%, 185), and Arts and Humanities (5.1%, 182). Thus, the seven most prominent categories represented 88.5% of the documents published from 1968 to 2019. Furthermore, the rest of the subject areas did not exceed 2.5% of the total articles published.
In the ranking of the 20 journals with the most published articles, the high percentage of journals (75%) that belonged to the first quartile (Q1) of the 2019 SJR index stands out. Furthermore, the greatest impact factor, SJR, is presented by the Journal of Development Economics with 3585 (Q1), followed by Economic Development and Cultural Change with 3483 (Q1).
World Development was the journal that had published the most articles in the time horizon considered (75, 3.4%), followed by the Journal of African Economies (44, 2.0%). The top 20 journals on this research topic published 18.50% (403) of the total articles.
The most productive author on the research topic was Martin Ravallion from the University of Malaysia with nine published articles, followed by the American Sadoulet (9) and the Dutch Lanjouw (8) from the University of California and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, respectively. In any case, Martin Ravallion, despite the fact that he was not the first to start writing about this subject as his first article was from 1995, was the author with the highest number of articles, with the highest number of citations (311), and consequently, with a higher average number of citations per article (34.56). In addition, Ravallion also stood out with the highest h-index (9), followed by Sadoulet and Lanjouw, with a record of eight each.
The World Bank was the most prolific institution, with 83 articles as well as the one with the highest number of citations: 3580 and also had the highest h-index: 31. However, the highest average number of citations was obtained by works attached to the University of California with 59.7 citations per article. This was followed by the World Bank, with 43.1 citations per article. On the other hand, Wageningen University & Research was the institution with the highest percentage of international collaboration (77.78%).
For its part, the United States was the country with the most publications (593) and with the highest h-index (65). In addition, it was the country with the highest number of citations (12,659). The second country with the highest number of articles was the United Kingdom (304), although it held the first position in terms of the average number of citations (25.70 citations per article). The United States also led the ranking of the most productive countries since 1980. Only in the quadrennium of 1976–1979 did the United Kingdom surpass the United States in the number of articles related to poverty and the family economy. In the last four years (2016–2019), China has come to occupy the fourth position, after India, with 34 articles, which represents 40% of its total production (85 articles). In the future, this inertia is sure to consolidate China and India at the top of this table. In contrast, the Netherlands, which was in fourth position in the four-year period of 2004–2007, was in 26th position in the last period.
In short, the United States, United Kingdom, India, China, and South Africa are the main driving countries for research topics related to poverty and the family economy. Specifically, these five countries grouped 51.6% of the total articles in the sample.
We found it predictable that among the most prominent keywords in the sample was poverty (860 documents, 39.4%), since it has been one of the main search terms. However, it is striking that among the five most prominent keywords, we also found rural-economy (354 documents, 16.2%). The rise in the ranking of keywords related to rural areas is in contrast to the loss of relevance of the term agriculture (78 documents, 3.6%), which in the four-year period of 1976–1979 occupied the fourth position and in the last four-year period, it moved to 20th place.
From a gender perspective, it is interesting the relevance that the concept of women acquires in scientific documents that deal with poverty in the context of household. Thus, the term woman/women (142 documents, 6.5%) was in seventh position. In the time horizon considered, this term has not ceased to acquire relevance, which justifies a vision from the gender perspective of family poverty.
From the analysis of our bibliometric review, we understand that future research lines should focus on (i) family economies in contemporary societies; (ii) the specific role of women in the family economy; (iii) comparative studies on the role of women in contexts of poverty and in developed countries; (iv) the participation of women in informal economies in contexts of poverty; and (v) female participation in contexts that break with the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
Among the lines of research to be developed, it would mainly be interesting to study (i) the participation of women in informal economies in contexts of poverty; (ii) female participation in contexts that break with the intergenerational transmission of poverty; and (iii) gender roles, intergenerational patterns and informal economy in the context of poverty.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Data curation, G.L.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Formal analysis, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Investigation, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Methodology, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Project administration, V.M.-S., G.L.-M. and V.M.-M.; Resources, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Software, L.J.B.-U.; Supervision, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Validation, G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Visualization, V.M.-S.; Writing—original draft, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U.; Writing—review & editing, V.M.-S., G.L.-M., V.M.-M. and L.J.B.-U. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Funding

This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Figure 1. Evolution of scientific production per year.
Figure 1. Evolution of scientific production per year.
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Figure 2. Comparison of the growth trends of the main subject areas (1968–2019).
Figure 2. Comparison of the growth trends of the main subject areas (1968–2019).
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Figure 3. Network map of cooperation between authors based on co-authorship (1968–2019).
Figure 3. Network map of cooperation between authors based on co-authorship (1968–2019).
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Figure 4. Network of cooperation between countries based on co-authorship (1968–2019).
Figure 4. Network of cooperation between countries based on co-authorship (1968–2019).
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Figure 5. Main keyword network based on co-occurrence from 1968 to 2019.
Figure 5. Main keyword network based on co-occurrence from 1968 to 2019.
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Figure 6. Cluster blue: woman/women from 1968 to 2019.
Figure 6. Cluster blue: woman/women from 1968 to 2019.
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Table 1. Main articles reviewed in relation to the objective of the research topic.
Table 1. Main articles reviewed in relation to the objective of the research topic.
YearArticle Title [Reference]JournalAuthor(s)Cites
1998Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification [46] Journal of Development StudiesEllis, F.1027
1994Averting the old age crisis: policies to protect the old and promote growth [47]Averting the old age crisis: policies to protect the old and promote growthWorld Bank472
2000The determinants of rural livelihood diversification in developing countries [48]Journal of Agricultural EconomicsEllis, F.424
2000Empirical regularities in the poverty-environment relationship of rural households: Evidence from Zimbabwe [49]World DevelopmentCavendish, W.402
1999Cents and sociability: Household income and social capital in rural Tanzania [50]Economic Development and Cultural ChangeNarayan, D., Pritchett, L.402
1997What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty? [51]World Bank Economic ReviewRavallion, M., Chen, S.372
2014Environmental Income and Rural Livelihoods: A Global-Comparative Analysis [52]World DevelopmentAngelsen, A., Jagger, P., Babigumira, R., (...), Smith-Hall, C., Wunder, S.366
2005Evaluating the impact of conditional cash transfer programs [53]World Bank Research ObserverRawlings, L.B., Rubio, G.M.254
2001Rural nonfarm employment and incomes in Latin America: Overview and policy implications [54]World DevelopmentReardon, T., Berdegué, J., Escobar, G.249
2001Income strategies among rural households in Mexico: The role of off-farm activities [55]World DevelopmentDe Janvry, A., Sadoulet, E.230
Table 2. Stages of bibliometric analysis process.
Table 2. Stages of bibliometric analysis process.
Stages of the ProcessSelection CriteriaResults
1. Pre-analysis1.1. Search and analysis of the term family economy and poverty in databases.(TITLE-ABS-KEY (“family” or “household”) AND TITLE-ABS-KEY (economy) AND TITLE-ABS-KEY (poverty)) AND DOCTYPE (ar OR bk OR ch) AND PUBYEAR <2020
1.2. Verification of the publication period and the papers’ coincidence with the conceptual term and research field.SCOPUS—2182 document results
2. Data exploitation (categorization and coding)2.1. Analysis of the amount and typology of the documents contained in SCOPUS database.SCOPUS—2182 document results
3. Processing of the outcome3.1. Assessment of the type of analysis, indicators and adequate tools for scientific mapping through VOSViewerIndicators and bibliometric maps with VOSViewer
- Document and authorship
- Networking maps of relationship between authors
- Co-occurrence of keywords
- Evolution timeline of papers’ publication
- Approaches identified in the literature review
Source: own elaboration.
Table 3. Major characteristics of scientific production from 1968 to 2019.
Table 3. Major characteristics of scientific production from 1968 to 2019.
PeriodAAUCTCTC/AJ
1968–197123210.52
1972–1975573153.04
1976–1979673599.86
1980–1983212772039.717
1984–1987252991656.623
1988–19914968773615.044
1992–19958510917189022.271
1996–199913118724414831.7107
2000–200321437756741334.6132
2004–200727657169676324.5180
2008–201139082979672517.2285
2012–2015439104480486411.1336
2016–201953913979417813.3381
A: number of articles; AU: number of authors; C: number of countries, TC: total citations in articles; TC/A: total citations per article; J: number of journals.
Table 4. Top 20 prolific journals (1968–2019).
Table 4. Top 20 prolific journals (1968–2019).
JournalATCTC/AHaHjSJR(Q)CountryFirstLastR (A)
ArticleArticle00–0304–0708–1112–1516–19
World Development75359047.87341642.223(Q1)United Kingdom198320191(18)2(9)4(8)2(8)1(20)
Journal of African Economies4482218.6816440.853(Q1)United Kingdom1993201817(2)3(8)1(17)1(10)23(3)
Journal of Development Studies41253361.7822790.916(Q1)United Kingdom198820194(6)1(11)3(8)3(7)13(4)
International Journal of Social Economics25853.405370.278(Q2)United Kingdom1998201931(1)110(1)36(2)5(5)2(15)
Food Policy22106048.1816952.189(Q1)United Kingdom199520182(8)5(6)53(1)33(2)20(3)
Social Science and Medicine22108949.50162291.944(Q1)United Kingdom198520198(5)7(5)--16(3)16(4)
Energy Policy1955028.95101972.168(Q1)United Kingdom1993201932(1)30(2)28(2)30(2)4(10)
Journal of Development Economics1568545.67121333.585(Q1)Netherlands19952019--9(4)41(2)60(1)8(5)
Social Indicators Research15503.336990.875(Q1)Netherlands19822019--40(2)--61(1)3(11)
Economic Development and Cultural Change1493666.8613673.483(Q1)United States199720135(5)82(1)11(3)62(1)--
Journal of International Development1422315.938640.611(Q1)United Kingdom199020196(5)35(2)9(4)--67(1)
Pakistan Development Review14896.366220.143(Q4)Pakistan199120183(8)142(1)----68(1)
Developing Economies11797.184260.294(Q3)United States20062017--26(2)22(2)4(6)69(1)
Development Southern Africa1121219.278390.384(Q2)United Kingdom19922016--10(3)54(1)27(2)70(1)
Plos One111069.6473001.023(Q1)United States20142019------6(5)7(6)
Development and Change1019119.108871.052(Q1)United Kingdom19912018--27(2)23(2)--19(3)
Ecological Economics1033233.2091891.719(Q1)Netherlands1996201833(1)29(2)7(4)63(1)71(1)
Economics of Transition1016716.707480.466(Q2)United Kingdom1998201434(1)6(5)--29(2)--
Geoforum1018818.8081071.616(Q1)United Kingdom19862019--32(2)55(1)35(2)41(2)
Journal of Rural Studies1033933.907961.624(Q1)United Kingdom19942018--51(1)--47(2)5(6)
A: number of articles; R: rank position by number of articles in the four-year period; TC: number of citations; TC/A: number of citations by article; Ha: h-index in articles; Hj: h-index in journal; SJR(Q): Scimago Journal Rank 2018 (Quartile).
Table 5. Authors with the highest production of articles (1968–2019 period).
Table 5. Authors with the highest production of articles (1968–2019 period).
AuthorsACC/AInstitutionsCountryFirst ArticleLast Articleh Index
Ravallion, M.931134.56University of MalayaMalaysia199520089
Sadoulet, E.919021.11University of CaliforniaUnited States198920098
Lanjouw, P.816420.50Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamNetherlands199520048
Huang, J.79313.29Jiangxi Agricultural UniversityChina200320146
Rozelle, S.710114.43Stanford UniversityUnited States200320177
Barrett, C.B.610317.17Cornell UniversityUnited States199920185
Crush, J.611719.50Wilfrid Laurier UniversitySouth Africa201120165
De Janvry, A.611419.00University of CaliforniaUnited States197720115
Waibel, H.66310.50Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität HannoverGermany201120174
Wu, F.6528.67University College LondonUnited Kingdom200620106
Source: Own elaboration.
Table 6. Top 10 prolific institutions (1968–2019).
Table 6. Top 10 prolific institutions (1968–2019).
InstitutionCATCTC/Ah-IndexIC (%)TCICTCNIC
The World BankUnited States83358043.13154.22%53.1131.32
International Food Policy Research InstituteUnited States4067016.81662.50%11.8424.93
University of OxfordUnited Kingdom323189.91243.75%11.438.78
University of Cape TownSouth Africa2957519.81351.72%23.8015.57
University of SussexUnited Kingdom2440016.71145.83%20.1813.69
Cornell UniversityUnited States2143120.51147.62%35.207.18
University of CaliforniaUnited States19113559.71431.58%57.6760.69
Wageningen University & ResearchNetherlands1842723.71177.78%23.2125.50
University of KwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa1837320.71038.89%33.2912.73
The University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom1649030.61137.50%44.3322.40
C: country; A: number of articles; TC: number of citations; TC/A: number of citations by article; h-index: Hirsch index in research topic; IC: percentage of articles made with international collaboration; TCIC: number of citations by article made with international collaboration; TCNIC: number of citations by article made without international collaboration.
Table 7. Top 10 prolific countries in number of articles (1968–2019).
Table 7. Top 10 prolific countries in number of articles (1968–2019).
CountryATCTC/Ah-IndexR (A)
2000–20032004–20072008–20112012–20152016–2019
United States59312,65921.35651(60)1(103)1(114)1(118)1(121)
United Kingdom304781325.70472(45)2(52)2(55)2(67)2(59)
India123137111.15225(7)6(13)5(23)5(31)3(43)
South Africa106175716.582510(6)7(11)9(16)3(35)5(34)
Australia91147116.162311(5)12(6)7(20)4(32)7(21)
Germany87157918.15233(8)11(7)8(17)6(19)6(31)
China8589110.481913(4)8(10)4(23)10(14)4(34)
Canada81183622.67249(6)5(13)6(21)7(17)8(18)
Netherlands64156924.52258(7)4(16)10(13)9(15)26(9)
France543536.541112(5)10(8)15(8)8(15)9(18)
A: number of articles; R: rank position by number of articles in the four-year period; TC: number of citations; TC/A: number of citations by article; h-index: Hirsch index in research topic.
Table 8. Top 10 prolific countries and international collaboration (1968–2019).
Table 8. Top 10 prolific countries and international collaboration (1968–2019).
CountryNCMain CollaboratorsIC (%)TC/A
ICNIC
United States66United Kingdom. China, India, Australia, and Germany.32.88%24.9419.59
United Kingdom58United States, China, India, Germany, and Netherlands.42.43%21.9428.47
India14United States, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, and Germany.32.52%18.507.60
South Africa29United Kingdom, United States, Canada, France, and Germany.37.74%20.4514.23
Australia24United States, Indonesia, India, Canada, and United Kingdom.50.55%24.357.80
Germany36United States, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Italy.54.02%19.5716.48
China16United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and France.52.94%16.843.33
Canada33United States, Australia, South Africa, United Kingdom, and China. 44.44%29.3917.29
Netherlands36United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ethiopia, and Germany. 60.94%23.6225.92
France27United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil, and Canada.55.56%10.201.96
NC: number of collaborator countries; IC: percentage of articles made with international collaboration; TC/A: number of citations by article; IC: international collaboration; NIC: no international collaboration.
Table 9. Main keywords from 1968 to 2019.
Table 9. Main keywords from 1968 to 2019.
Keyword1968–20191976–19791992–19952000–20032008–20112016–2019
A%R (A)%R (A)%R (A)%R (A)%R (A)%
Poverty86039.4%3(2)33.3%4(30)35.3%1(89)41.6%1(150)38.5%1(217)40.3%
Rural-economy35416.2% 183(2)2.4%2(79)7.0%2(66)16.9%2(72)13.4%
Poverty-alleviation26512.1% 33(6)7.1%3(51)23.8%3(60)15.4%4(58)10.8%
Household-income2179.9% 59(5)5.9%4(26)12.1%8(35)9.0%3(63)11.7%
Economics1778.1%15(1)16.7%5(29)34.1%18(10)4.7%17(22)5.6%7(42)7.8%
Developing-country1557.1%11(1)16.7%1(53)62.4%136(3)1.4%71(8)2.1%27(17)3.2%
Woman/women1426.5% 103(3)3.5%38(6)2.8%21(19)4.9%11(32)5.9%
Income1366.2% 121(3)3.5%5(16)7.5%27(16)4.1%9(36)6.7%
Employment1245.7% 21(10)11.8%7(15)7.0%19(21)5.4%18(26)4.8%
Rural-area1165.3% 32(7)3.3%14(23)5.9%6(42)7.8%
Income-distribution1125.1% 319(1)1.2%8(14)6.5%10(29)7.4%14(27)5.0%
Socioeconomic-factors1064.9%38(1)16.7%9(19)22.4%28(7)3.3%25(16)4.1%51(12)2.2%
Sub-Saharan-Africa106 86(3)1.4%9(32)8.2%129(7)1.3%
Socioeconomics1034.7%40(1)16.7%11(18)21.2%46(6)2.8%24(17)4.4%50(12)2.2%
Male964.4% 126(3)3.5%39(6)2.8%32(13)3.3%12(30)5.6%
Economic-development884.0%13(1)16.7%13(13)15.3%44(6)2.8%55(9)2.3%25(22)4.1%
Adult863.9% 208(2)2.4%27(7)3.3%33(13)3.3%16(27)5.0%
Household-survey853.9% 57(5)2.3%13(25)6.4%13(29)5.4%
Food-security803.7% 497(1)1.2%19(9)4.2%22(18)4.6%17(26)4.8%
Agriculture783.6%4(1)16.7%28(7)8.2%25(8)3.7%57(9)2.3%20(24)4.5%
Demography783.6%10(1)16.7%8(19)22.4%146(3)1.4%54(9)2.3%182(5)0.9%
Economic-factors763.5%14(1)16.7%6(27)31.8%84(4)1.9% 587(2)0.4%
Economic-growth763.5% 397(1)1.2%113(3)1.4%15(23)5.9%34(15)2.8%
Rural-development713.3% 159(2)2.4%42(6)2.8%40(11)2.8%24(22)4.1%
Sustainability713.3% 402(1)1.2%162(2)0.9%364(2)0.5%67(11)2.0%
A: number of articles; R: rank position by the number of articles published; %: percentage over the total articles of the period.
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