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Through economic growth to the viability of rural space

Baiba Rivza () and Maiga Kruzmetra ()
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Baiba Rivza: Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia
Maiga Kruzmetra: Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 2017, vol. 5, issue 2, 283-296

Abstract: Rural areas as a necessary component of living space for the population is an increasing focus both in official documents of various EU institutions and in research investigations. Both the documents and the research papers stress the necessity to enhance and maintain the viability of rural areas. The viability of rural areas is ensured by employment opportunities and the readiness of residents for active and innovative economic activity. The authors’ research focuses on an analysis of vertical and horizontal changes in entrepreneurship in the period 2009-2015 and their effects on changes in the living space in the territories analysed, which primarily involves the country’s regions, but a special focus is placed on the mentioned processes in territorial units of the regions – municipalities –, as the life of residents is influenced not only by national policies but also by on-going processes in the administrative territories of local governments. Zemgale region was chosen for an in-depth analysis of these processes. LURSOFT data for the period 2009-2015 and Central Statistical Bureau data for the period 2013-2015 were used as information sources. The data were processed by quantitative (growth) and qualitative (structural change) statistical analysis methods. The Eurostat methodology and a methodology developed by the authors for classification of industries were employed for the analysis of structural changes in the national economy. The development level-rate matrix method was employed for an in-depth examination of the research results. The research results showed that regardless of the global economic crisis, both vertical growth and positive horizontal change processes took place in the national economy in all five regions of Latvia, nine cities of national significance as well as in all 110 municipalities that composed the rural areas of Latvia. The analysis of the information allows concluding that, first, performance trends were observed in the rural space, which contributed to economic growth; second, there was no direct causal relationship between the population density of rural territories and economic activity in the rural territories; however, third, it leads to an opinion that the economic growth in the rural territories was greatly affected by the quality of local governance and local community residents’ readiness for active, innovative and inclusive action.

Keywords: living space; structural changes; knowledge-based economy; local governance; local community (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P25 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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