Revista de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
ISSN: 1576-0162
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World
Economy (rEvista dE Economía mundial) using scimaT
análisis tEmático y concEptual dE la rEvista dE Economía
mundial mEdiantE scimat
Encarnación Moral-Pajares
Universidad de Jaén
Manuel Jesús Cobo-Martín
Universidad de Granada
Ángela Andrea Caviedes-Conde
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Leticia Gallego-Valero
Universidad de Jaén
Recibido: septiembre de 2023; aceptado: octubre de 2023
This paper carries out a bibliometric study of the Journal of World Economy
(Revista de Economía Mundial) for the period 2008 to 2021 using the SciMAT
software, with the aim of discerning how the published research has evolved
and the main areas of study have developed, as well as to indicate future
lines that could be prioritized. The results obtained reveal that “economic
growth” has been the journal’s main theme through the entire period and that
“European Union” has been the basic area of research. At the same time, few
articles have referred to highly topical issues such as the green transition of the
world economy.
Keywords: Bibliometric analysis, Science Mapping Analysis, SciMAT, Revista
de Economía Mundial.
En este trabajo se realiza un estudio bibliométrico de la Revista Economía
Mundial entre 2008 y 2021, empleando el software SciMAT, con el objetivo
de conocer cómo ha evolucionado la investigación, las principales áreas de
estudio desarrolladas y señalar posibles líneas futuras que puedan priorizarse.
Los resultados obtenidos han permitido identificar como tema motor de
estudio para todo el período: “economic growth” y como temática básica de
investigación “European Union”. Sin embargo, son pocos los trabajos referidos
a otros temas de gran actualidad como la transición verde de la economía
Palabras clave: análisis bibliométrico, Science Mapping Analysis, SciMAT,
Revista Economía Mundial.
JEL Classification / Clasificación JEL: F0.
Revista de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
1. inTroducTion
Scientific journals are a major instrument for the dissemination and
communication of scientific advances. Over recent decades, the evaluation of
published scientific research has increased in relevance as a way of assessing
the sector’s performance and the resources allocated by society, and to provide
scientists and scholars with feedback on their work (Van Leeuwen et al., 2001).
The practice of bibliometrics applies mathematical and statistical methods to
scientific literature and to the authors who produce it, with the aim of objectively
and rigorously examining and evaluating the scientific activity undertaken,
revealing the evolutionary nuances experienced by a specific field or journal
and shedding light on the knowledge developed and on emerging areas within
that field or publication (Donth et al., 2021; Callon et al., 1983). For González-
Valiente et al. (2021), two relevant procedures are typical in bibliometrics:
performance analysis and Science Mapping Analysis. The first aims to evaluate
agents (countries, universities, researchers) and the impacts of their activity on
bibliographic databases. Science Mapping Analysis shows the structural and
dynamic aspects of scientific research (Börner et al., 2003), identifying thematic
areas while establishing a frame of reference for researchers and future work.
The Journal of World Economy (Revista de Economía Mundial, or REM) is
among the main scientific journals published in Spain and focused on the study
and analysis of the global economic reality; it is included in the most important
international indices, serving as a reference for evaluation of the curricula of
researchers from Spain’s universities. Created and largely financed by the World
Economic Society (Sociedad de Economía Mundial, or SEM), the journal is Open
Access, with an open license recognized by the Berlin Declaration (CCBY-CC),
and it has received the Quality Seal of Scientific Journals from the Spanish
Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), which recognizes the editorial
and scientific quality of publications. In addition, its trajectory of more than 20
years has made the journal a reference source for researchers who deal with
the various aspects that comprise international economic relations, the effects
deriving therefrom, and the positive and negative externalities shaping their
evolution. No detailed analysis of this journal had been undertaken before the
present work.
The objective of this research is to carry out a study of the performance
of the Journal of World Economy and its authors and their production, along
with a Science Mapping Analysis to research the evolution of the many issues
144 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
addressed in that publication, including aspects of composition, identifying and
visualizing the main thematic areas appearing between 2008 (when this journal
was first indexed in the Journal Citation Report) and 2021 (the most recent year
for which information was available when this research commenced). The work
undertaken is in line with that of López-Robles et al. (2019), González-Alcaide
et al. (2021), and López-Robles et al. (2021), all of which focused on in-depth
evaluation of a certain scientific publication.
This document is comprised of four sections, including this Introduction. The
following section details the methodology and indicators used in this research.
The third section presents the results obtained. Finally, the main conclusions
derived from the study are collected in section four.
2. maTerials and meThod
2.1. daTa
Analysis is performed using the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), a database
produced by Clarivate Analytics that forms part of the Web of Science Core
Collection. The SSCI has since 1956 indexed and evaluated those international
scientific publications with the greatest impact in each thematic area, providing
bibliometric information and citation analysis in the Social Sciences for some
2,000 journals. The search term employed within the database was “Revista
de Economía Mundial”, and a total of 707 results were obtained, 523 of which
correspond to the period 2008-2021; these have been distributed by type of
document, as shown in Table 1.
First, the citations received by each publication were subjected to analysis.
Second, all data was downloaded in plain text format and entered into the
SciMAT software to create a knowledge-base and permit Science Mapping
Analysis to be performed. In this case, it was decided to carry out analysis for
two consecutive periods (2008-2014 and 2015-2021) to generate a sufficient
mass of publications for more detailed study (Cobo et al., 2012). The date of
data collection was August 31, 2022.
Table 1. Types of publicaTions in The rem, according To ssci
Type of publications Number of publications (N=523)
n %
Article 398 76.10
Proceedings Paper 1 0.19
Biographical 6 1.15
Book Review 70 13.38
Editorial Material 41 7.84
Review 7 1.34
Total 523 100.00
Source: Web of Science. Own elaboration.
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
To improve and ensure the quality of the data processed, a technique
was applied in which concepts having the same meaning or representing the
same topic were reviewed and grouped (for example, “Economic-Reforms”,
“Economic-Reform”, and “Economic Reform” were grouped together as
“Economic Reforms”), while terms with an ambiguous meaning were removed.
2.2. meThodology
This work falls within the field of bibliometric performance analysis, in
accordance with Glenisson et al. (2005) and Moed (2011), and it provides
a longitudinal study that follows the case study as a research technique.
The bibliometric approach has been based on two elements: i) analysis of
performance indicators, considering the production and impact of authors
and publications; and ii) study of the evolution of the journal through Science
Mapping Analysis, spatially representing the interrelation between articles and
topics, which further facilitates teaching, understanding, and demonstrating
complex relationships between topics of interest for the development of a
scientific field (Cobo et al., 2012).
As regards the performance of organizations and authorship, the journal’s
publications have been compiled and analyzed along with the bibliographic
information available in the SSCI database of the Web of Science. This portion
of the analysis was completed by applying the H-index and H-Classics scores
(Hirsch, 2010; Martinez et al., 2014). For analysis of the evolution of the journal,
the SciMAT bibliometric software was used; distinct from other software, this
allows the evaluation of performance in a subject or area of knowledge of a set
of publications, as well as the performance of a single scientific journal. The
stages taken under this approach are: i) detection of the topics covered by the
research field through ‘co-word analysis’ (Börner et al., 2003); ii) visualization
of the research topics and their thematic networks (Callon et al., 2003; Van
Eck & Waltman, 2009); iii) analysis of the evolution of the themes through the
different periods studied, in order to detect the main general thematic areas
of the research field and their interactions (Kandylas et al. , 2010; Rosvall
& Bergstrom, 2010); and iv) performance analysis of the different periods,
themes, and thematic areas through quantitative and impact measures (Cobo
et al., 2012).
The co-word analysis for two-dimensional visualization (Strategy Diagram),
obtains groups of keywords and their interconnections (Lopez-Robles et
al., 2021), and these groups are considered ‘topics’. Each research topic is
characterized by two parameters (with centrality on the x-axis and density
on the y-axis). The measure of these two parameters can be used to classify
subjects into four groups or quadrants, as represented in Figure 1A.
Topics in the upper right quadrant (QI) are highly developed and relevant
to knowledge in the scientific field. These are called ‘motor topics’ of the
scientific specialty, as they present both strong centrality and density, also
being externally related to concepts applicable to other topics. Topics in the
146 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
upper left quadrant (QII), called ‘peripherals’, maintain well-developed internal
ties, but their external ties are marginal in the overall development of the
scientific field. The themes of the lower left quadrant (QIII) are characterized by
their low centrality and density, representing ‘declining’ or ‘emerging’ themes
(depending on the case). Finally, the themes in the right lower quadrant (QIV),
identified as ‘basic and transversal’, are important for the field of research;
these are of low density but high centrality. It should be noted that the motor,
basic, and transversal issues signal the development and consolidation of a
field of knowledge.
In each theme, the keywords and their interconnections draw a thematic
network. This is labeled using the name of the most significant keyword in the
associated topic (usually identified by its core keyword). Figure 1B visualizes
several keywords that are interconnected, in which the volume of the spheres
is proportional to the number of documents corresponding to each keyword,
and the thickness of the link between two spheres (i, j) is proportional to the
equivalence index (eij) (Cobo et al., 2012).
In analysis of the evolution of the topics covered, Figure 2A graphically
presents the process followed. In the first place, the data are divided into two
consecutive study periods (period 1 and period 2), with three themes detected
in the first and four themes in the second (along with their associated thematic
networks). Solid lines (lines 1 and 2) mean that the linked topics share the
same name: both topics are tagged with the same keywords, or one topic’s
tag is part of the other topic (topic name E {topic links}). A dotted line (line
3) means that topics share elements other than the topic name (topic name E
/ {topic links}). The thickness of a linking line is proportional to the inclusion
index, and the volume of a sphere is proportional to the number of published
documents associated with each topic (other measures could be citations). The
vertical lines separate the different periods.
Figure 1. A
Figure 2.A
figure 1a. sTraTegic diagram figure 1b. ThemaTic neTwork
Source: Own elaboration from Cobo et al. (2012).
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
To conduct a performance analysis of the different periods, themes, and
thematic areas through quantitative and impact measures, it is important to
take into account the general overlap between two consecutive periods. This
can be measured through the Stability Index (Henderson et al., 2009; Small,
1977), the equation for which is similar to that of the Jaccard Index (ítemsij
/ (ítemsi + ítemsj – ítemsij) for the case of two consecutive periods (Braam et
al., 1991). In general, the overlap measures the number of keywords shared
between successive sub-periods. To graphically depict “stability” through the
different periods, the proposal here followed was that of Price and Gursey
(1976), represented in Figure 2B. The circles represent the periods and their
number of associated keywords. The horizontal arrow represents the number
of keywords shared by both periods, and the similarity index between them is
given in parentheses. The top incoming arrow represents the number of new
keywords in period 2, and the top outgoing arrow represents keywords that
are present in period 1 but not in period 2.
3. bibliomeTric performance analysis: auThorship and producTion
This section assesses the bibliometric performance of the Journal of World
Economy (REM) in terms of publication, citations, and impact. The bibliometric
performance analysis is structured into four sections: i) production and impact
of published documents; ii) production by authors, countries, organizations,
and funding agencies; iii) analysis of H-Classics; and iv) study of the content of
the publications through Science Mapping Analysis.
figure 2a. ThemaTic evoluTion figure 2b. sTabiliTy beTween periods
Source: Own elaboration.
Figure 1. A
Figure 2.A
148 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
3.1. publicaTions and ciTaTions
In 2008, the REM began to be indexed in the SSCI database, and in June
2009 it appeared for the first time in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR),
reaching an impact factor of 0.5 in 2022. Since then, it has maintained
constant publication activity and growth in the number of documents, reaching
a total of 523 in 2021, as represented in Figure 3. Overall, a downward trend in
annual production is observed, with a minimum in 2016 of only 29 published
works (at 5.54% of total), compared with 57 in 2008, or 44 in 2009. In recent
years, however, the trajectory has been slightly upward, with 34, 33, and 35
documents in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.
Figure 4 shows the distribution of citations received per year for the
defined time period, with the number of references obtained totaling 725, or
654 after discounting self-citations. According to the information provided by
the SSCI, the average number of citations per article is 1.39. When interpreting
these data, it should be taken into account that, as noted by Wang (2013), a
publication needs between three and seven years to reach its maximum point
of citations due to the window of time that exists between its edition and its
use as a reference; thus the most referenced publications are generally those
registered in previous years. In any case, the strong results in productivity for
figure 3. annual disTribuTion of publicaTions in The rem (2008-2021)
Source: Web of Science.
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
the year 2013 (with 224 references, or 63.44% of the total) are worthy of
further inquiry.
3.2. The mosT producTive auThors and organizaTions and Their geographical
Table 2 shows the most productive authors in the 2008-2021 period as
a whole, or those publishing three or more documents in the REM (0.5%
of total). Overall, the data reveal that the journal presents a high degree of
dissemination in terms of signatories, with more than 82% having published
less than three articles, and this contributes to the variety of topics covered
and approaches addressed. However, in terms of productivity, two authors
stand out: De Paz Bañez and Aceytuno, with 14 works each; at some distance
behind these are signatories with seven, six, and five publications (including
Berzosa, Nieto, Ortíz, Sequeiros, Larru, Macias, and Unceta), each responsible
for just over 1% of the total.
Figure 5 represents the countries of origin of the researchers who appeared
as the first signatory in a published REM article. The data show a strong national
character, with more than 400 papers by scientists working at universities
and research centers located in Spain. Among other European countries, the
United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland stand out with 20 and 6 publications
respectively. Countries in the Americas present significant participation –
an aggregate volume of 59 papers and a share in the total of 11.28%, with
Mexico and the United States contributing most to these figures. Elsewhere,
Asia, Africa, and Oceania register low participation, not exceeding 1.5% of the
figure 4. annual disTribuTion of ciTaTions in The rem (2008-2021)
Source: Web of Science.
150 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
Table 2. The mosT producTive auThors in The rem (2008-2021)
Publications (N=523)
Number % of Total Authors
14 2.68 De Paz Bañez, M.
14 2.68 Aceytuno, M.
7 1.34 Berzosa, C.
6 1.15 Nieto, J
6 1.15 Ortíz, F.R.
6 1.15 Sequeiros, J.
5 0.96 Larru, J.
5 0.96 Macias, A.
5 0.96 Unceta, K.
4 0.76 Benitez-Aurioles, B.
4 0.76 Olivie, I.
4 0.76 Vivel, M.
3 0.57 Asensio, M.J.
3 0.57 Lucena, J.
3 0.57 Guardiola, J.
3 0.57 Lado-Sestayo, R.
421 82.41 Rest of authors
Source: Web of Science. Own elaboration.
figure 5. main counTries of origin of rem publicaTions (2008-2021)
Source: Web of Science.
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
total, which may have conditioned the journal’s focus on issues related to the
world economy.
Table 3 presents the most productive organizations (both Spanish and
foreign) represented in the REM, with more than five publications each between
2008 and 2021 (or 1% of the total). Two aspects stand out in analysis. First
is the predominance of Spanish institutions, which represent 90.47% of the
aggregate of the most productive organizations. Among foreign universities
and research centers, ten had an article published in the REM during the
period of observation. Second, the relative concentration among Spanish
universities is surprising, with researchers from only 33 receiving publications
from nationwide total of 77 universities in 2022 (BBVA, 2023).
Table 3. The mosT producTive organizaTions in The rem (2008-2021)
Publications (N=523) Institution
61 Complutense University of Madrid
49 University of Huelva
30 University of Sevilla
24 Autonomous University of Madrid
24 University of the Basque Country
22 University of Santiago de Compostela
14 University of Cantabria
14 University of A Coruña
14 University of Málaga
13 University of Castilla-La Mancha
12 University of Barcelona
13 University of Oviedo
11 University of Granada
10 San Pablo CEU University
10 University of Alcalá
10 University of Zaragoza
9 University of Jaén
9 University of Valencia
8 National Autonomous University of Mexico
5 University of León
7 National University of Distance Education (UNED)
6 University of Deusto
5 Rey Juan Carlos University
5 Polytechnic University of Valencia
5 University of London
Source: Web of Science.
152 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
3.4. analysis of The auThors and The mosT ciTed publicaTions
Table 4 presents in descending order those authors who appeared as first
signatory and received more than five citations (1% of the total) during the
period analyzed, along with the institution to which they belonged and the
language of publication. The data show a high concentration of references
in a small number of researchers, who may be said to represent the main
protagonists of the journal’s impact. Sixteen authors were responsible for
52% of the total citations obtained: Liñán, in a prominent position with 178,
Fernández with 39, and Romero with 22. Second, the predominance of articles
in English is very significant, with the most cited researchers having chosen that
language for presentation of their results. Third, in relative terms, the weight of
scientists from institutions outside Spain is surprising, with ten from a total of
23 (43.47%) belonging to universities and research centers outside Spain. This
phenomenon may favor diffusion of the journal due to the dissemination-effect
of foreign signatories among networks of contacts.
Table 4. auThors wiTh more Than 5 ciTaTions (2008-2021)
No. of citations %Author,
first signatory
Institution of
first signatory
Language of publica-
178 24.55 Liñán, F U. of Sevilla English
39 5.38 Fernández, J. U. of Sevilla English
22 3.03 Romero, I. U. of Sevilla English
14 1.93 Brown, A. , U. of Leeds English
14 1.93 Gasparini, L U. Nacional of La Plata English
13 1.79 Addabbo, T.
Università ofgli Studi
di Moofna e Reggio
13 1.79 Hidalgo, A.L. U. of Huelva Spanish
12 1.66 Guzman, J U. of Sevilla Spanish
12 1.66 Holgado, M.D.M. U. of Granada English
11 1.52 Choi, A. U. of Barcelona e English
10 1.38 Delgado, F.J. U. of Oviedo English
91.24 Bonizzi, B. U. of Winchester English
81.10 Ferreiro, J. U. of the Basque
Country English
81.10 Giménez, G. U. of Zaragoza English
81.10 Jaén, I. U. of Sevilla Spanish
81.10 Muringani, J. U. of Stavanger English
70.97 Brikci, N. Save the Children
United Kingdom English
Source: Web of Science.
Analysis of the most cited publications was conducted through the H-index
scores (Hirsch, 2010) obtained during consultation of the SSCI for the REM
journal, resulting in a value of 11. Using this value as a reference, the most
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
relevant publications are identified and their titles are presented (in the
original language) in Table 5, also indicating authorship, type of publication,
and number of citations registered in the Web of Science.
Table 5. h-classics for rem
Order Title
(authors, year of publication) First author affiliation Type of
document Citations
British and Spanish entrepreneurial intentions:
a comparative study
(Liñan et al., 2013)
Univ. of Sevilla Article 122
Necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship: the
mediating effect of culture
(Fernández et al., 2013)
Univ. of Sevilla Article 56
Cognitive aspects of potential entrepreneurs in
Southern and Northern Europe: an analysis using
(Fernández et al., 2009)
Univ. of Sevilla Article 39
Fragmentation and complexity: analysing structural
change in the Chicago regional economy
(Romero et al., 2009)
Univ. of Sevilla Article 22
The extent and variegation of financialisation in
a preliminary analysis
(Brown et al., 2017)
Univ. of Leeds Article 14
Chonicle of a deceleration foretold: income inequal-
ity in Latin america in the 2010s (Gasparini et al.,
National Univ. of La
Plata Article 14
Gender differences in labor force participation rates
in Spain and Italy in the great recession
(Addabbo et al., 2015)
Univ. di Modena e
Reggio Emilia Article 13
Political economy of development the retrospective
construction of an academic branch
(Hidalgo, 2011)
Univ. of Huelva Article 13
Behavior of the woman entrepreneur: a global
(Guzman & Rodríguez, 2008)
Univ. of Sevilla Article 12
A synthetic indicator to measure the economic and
social cohesion of the regions of Spain and Portugal
(Holgado et al., 2015)
Univ. of Granada Article 12
11 Predictors and effects of grade repetition
(Choi et al., 2018) Univ. of Barcelona Article 11
Source: Web of Science.
During the period analyzed, eleven articles were registered with 328
citations (including self-citations) and 317 without. According to the SSCI,
the average number of citations per article was 29.8. Further examining this
information, it becomes evident that some articles were retained as references
beyond the seven-year period, suggesting that these publications form part of
the ‘core’ of the REM (Wang, 2013). Regarding language, 100% of the most
cited papers published in the journal were in English. Finally, in almost all cases,
this research was carried out in collaboration between two or more signatories,
favoring the complementarity and reliability of the results achieved.
154 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
3.5. analysis of The evoluTion map of The rem
3.5.1. display of The Topics
In order to visualize and analyze the evolution of the main themes in the
REM, the data was divided into two consecutive periods: 2008-2014 and
pEriod 2008-2014
In this period, three ‘motor themes’ of high density and centrality stand
out; these comprise the first quadrant (QI) and include three questions about
the world economy: the financial crisis of 2008 and its causes and effects;
entrepreneurship as a method of confronting unemployment in a crisis
situation; and microcredits as an instrument for access to financing by the
most disadvantaged. Works that analyze the causes of the 2008 financial crisis
(Verela & Verela, 2008; Calvo, 2008; Alonso et al., 2011) were complemented
by others dealing with: its effects on the evolution of the currency exchange
rate (Cerón, 2010); public deficits, indebtedness, and anti-crisis actions
applied (Rodríguez, 2010); negative consequences on the well-being of
citizens (Rodríguez, 2011); and the advance of European monetary integration
(Rodríguez, 2013; Steinberg & de Molina, 2012), especially as regards the
public debt market (Alonso & Cendejas, 2012).
Entrepreneurship, the second driving theme, considers diverse aspects of
this economic practice as a strategy for dealing with unemployment. Among
the issues analyzed, the study of education stands out as a determining
factor in the entrepreneurial activity of university students (Fayolle & Toutain,
2013); the contextualization of university spin-offs (Aceytuno & Cáceres,
2009); support for the creation of spin-off entities in universities of the United
Kingdom and Spain (Beraza & Rodríguez, 2014); and the relationship between
entrepreneurship and sociodemographic and/or cultural factors (Álvarez
& Valencia, 2008; Liñán et al., 2013; Jaén et al., 2013) and innovation
(Cáceres & Aceytuno, 2008). Other aspects analyzed include self-employment
across the different stages of the economic cycle (Congregado et al., 2012;
Carmona et al., 2015) and the influence of European host economies on the
self-employment of immigrants (Ruiz & García, 2013). Microcredits as an
instrument for financing entrepreneurial activity constitutes the third theme,
mostly comprised of various works within a special section of issue No. 19 of
the journal. Also in this area are studies by: Gutierrez and Goitoso (2011) on
the variables associated with the social and financial objectives of microfinance
institutions; Gutierrez and Unceta (2009) assessing the role of microfinance
as an instrument of access to financial services for the poorest populations;
Marbán (2008) on microfinance in India; and others.
The second quadrant (QII) brings together peripheral topics of high density,
including issues around “international organizations”, particular countries, and
“low-income countries” as a group. Significant among the published works on
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
international organizations are those referring to the OECD; in 2011, when
that institution celebrated its 50th anniversary, the journal dedicated a
special section (in issue No. 28) to the OECD, coordinated by Clifton and Díaz-
Fuentes. That issue of the REM featured participation from the institution’s
then-Secretary General, Angel Gurría, who together with other academics and
researchers with professional experience in the subject critically examined from
diverse perspectives the nature, approach, scope, and limitations of the OECD
in the global economic context (Nieto, 2011; West, 2011; Kellow & Carroll,
2011; Clifton & Díaz-Fuentes, 2011). Other works that analyzed aspects related
to activity developed or promoted by the OECD included those by González-
Moralejo and García (2010) and Portela and Neira (2012). The second cluster
(particular countries) presents a wide diversity of aspects covered, with the
common denominator of focus on a specific national economy. Among the main
issues: the sustainability of the Spanish economy’s current account (Donoso &
Martín, 2012), the U.S. economy during the Bush and Reagan years (Aguado,
2008), and the impact of the financial crisis in Brazil (Paiva, 2009). Finally,
the third cluster within QII refers to low-income countries, with studies on the
measurement of well-being (Cuenca & Rodríguez, 2010), debt sustainability
(Macías, 2010), and cooperation in international finance (Macías, 2011).
The third quadrant (QIII) is composed mostly of ‘declining’ topics, including
divergent themes like “monetary policy” and “poverty”. Works focusing on
actions by monetary authorities – and specifically the European Central
Bank – in response to the 2008 financial crisis form the first aggregate,
including (among others) articles by González-Páramo (2012), Sánchez and
Maza (2013), and Escario (2011), which offers an empirical overview of the
link between public deficits, monetary growth, and inflation. As regards the
cluster on poverty – a real concern of certain urgency, affecting over 10%
of the world population – among the papers examining aspects of this topic
were those appearing in a special section of issue No. 27, which focused on
Africa, the continent with the largest volume of population living below the
poverty line, with less than $1.90/day. Other relevant works included research
dealing with the measurement of poverty (Pérez, 2008; Beamonte et al.,
2013), the relationship between education and poverty (Sianes et al., 2014),
and Fernández et al. (2013) on poverty and recession in the euro area.
Trade relations between countries can facilitate productive specialization
and contribute to the growth of production. Among the basic and transversal
themes appearing in the fourth quadrant (QIV) are “international trade”, the
“European Union” (representing the most advanced integration process in
the world), and “economic growth”. In research dealing with the first of these
issues, some articles focus on institutional aspects such as agreements around
intellectual property rights (TRIPS plus) (Araujo et al., 2008) or the accession
of Vietnam to the WTO (Olivié & Steinberg, 2014), while others focus on export
and import flows (Curzel, 2010; Yagüe & March, 2010; Fujii, 2010). Within the
European Union, the second cluster, the real and financial links between partner
countries are intensified and deepened, and this group features more than 30
156 Encarnación Moral· Manuel Jesús Cobo · Ángela Andrea Caviedes · Leticia Gallego
papers covering a wide variety of aspects such as expansion of the EU (Nieto,
2009), fiscal pressures, and the convergence of fiscal policies in EU countries
(Delgado & Presno, 2010). Nonetheless, the aggregate that accumulates the
most research here is “economic growth”, with works addressing aspects as
diverse as financing and development cooperation – to which a large part of
issue No. 36 is devoted (Belga & Boni, 2014; Macías et al., 2014; Martínez &
Zabala, 2014, Muñoz & Torres, 2014; Sianes & Ortega, 2014; Unceta et al.,
2014). Also notable are works that analyze implicit inequality in the economic
growth of countries (Choi, 2010).
pEriod 2015-2021
In the second period, the QI quadrant (high density and centrality) groups
together three themes: first, “economic growth”, the most important in terms
of the number of works, and which is found to have evolved from QIV to QI over
time; also, not identified in the previous period, are the concepts “market” and
“test”. In the 21 issues of the Journal published between 2015 and 2021, many
and varied aspects related to economic growth were covered; among the most
cited publications in this block are Muringani et al. (2019), which analyzes the
relationship between the quality of decentralized governments and economic
growth, and Giménez et al. (2015), which deals with the influence of human
capital on increases in production and innovation. Works focused on the study
of financial markets, the labor market, and international goods and services
markets together compose the “market” cluster, with studies including: Brown
et al. (2017) and Bonizzi and Churchill (2017), referring to finance; Addabbo
et al. (2015), analyzing gender differences in the labor market; Prieto (2017)
on geographic labor mobility; and works examining the activity of companies
in the international market, including Bajo-Rubio and Berke (2018) and Carril
and Milgram (2018). The third cluster of this quadrant, brought together
under the term “test”, results from changes over recent decades to the
methodologies applied in analysis of the world economy in its many aspects,
where statistical testing related to hypotheses and econometric models has
come to predominate. This area includes among other works the research by
Rodríguez et al. (2020), who use multilevel modelling to analyze the effect of
good governance on business creation, and that by Jordá-Borrell et al. (2018),
which (based on PLS-SEM modelling) researches the factors influencing the
adoption of ICT innovations in companies.
The second quadrant contains two heterogeneous clusters: “debt” and
“trade”. The first, with almost 20 works, includes those that analyze the high
level of indebtedness that countries generally present and, given that situation,
the need to increase public spending when dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
(Albert & Tercero-Lucas, 2020; Ruiz, 2020; Cruz et al., 2020; Carrasco
& Tovar-García, 2020). Other studies in this block analyze the effect of the
monetary policy applied during the 2008 crisis on the profitability of sovereign
debt (Borrallo & Hierro, 2015), and how development aid influences the debt
sustainability of countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Mongongo et al., 2019).
ThemaTic and concepTual analysis of The Journal of World economy (revisTa de economía mundial) using scimaT
revisTa de economía mundial 65, 2023, 141-167
The second cluster, trade, includes papers on foreign trade flows, especially
those that study global value chains (García & Solis, 2014; Lladós et al., 2018;
Martí & Puerta, 2019; Campos-Romero, & Rodil-Marzábal, 2020; Chema &
Noguera, 2020) but also those focusing on intra-European trade (Rodil et al.,
2015; Bolera et al., 2019), offshoring processes (Martínez & Merino, 2019),
and exports of knowledge-intensive services (Dávila et al., 2014).
The third quadrant contains a single cluster: “financial crisis”, with more
than 15 publications including: García-Arias et al. (2017) and Rodríguez
(2016) on the crisis in the euro zone; Otero-Iglesias et al. (2017) on the
determinants of Spain’s financial crisis; and Gallego and Arahuetes (2019) on
the macroprudential and fiscal measures taken by a sample of ten advanced
economies, before and after the recent international financial crisis.
Finally, two clusters constitute quadrant QIV in the second period: a basic
topic around EU issues, as in the previous period, and another focused on
Latin America. The works on the EU are very numerous (totaling 50) and cover
aspects as diverse as economic and social cohesion in the regions of Spain
and Portugal (Holgado et al., 2019), financing problems of the EU (Nölke,
2017), and the role of Russia as a strategic partner to the EU (Podadera &
Garashchock, 2019). In the cluster on Latin America, most notable are works
on inequality and poverty, including those appearing in the special section
of issue No. 43 (Gasparini et al., 2016; Junquera, 2016; Solimano, 2016;
Moreno et al., 2016).
3.5.2. evoluTion of The Topics in The rEvista dE Economía mundial
This sub-section studies the thematic evolution of the REM’s overall field of
research by way of the topics covered. First, analysis is made of the evolution
of the number of words, and the amount of those shared by published works
across the different periods. Journal terminology evolves over time, and the
changing contents of articles are expressed by changes in the descriptive
keywords used. New themes constantly arise with their associated keywords
while others disappear.
Figure 6 shows the evolution of keywords in the REM, mapped in the style
of Soilla and Suha Gürsey (1975). The circles symbolize the two periods, with
the number of keywords from each period represented inside. The arrow
connecting the periods expresses the number of keywords shared between
them, while the similarity index (overlapping fraction) is shown in parentheses.
The top outgoing arrow responds to keywords that are no longer present (i.e.,
discontinued) in the subsequent period, and the top incoming arrow represents
the number of new keywords in the period. In the period 2008-2014, there are
822 keywords, 232 of which persist into the next period studied (2015-2021).
The similarity index between the first and second periods is 0.17.
Numbers of keywords varied throughout the two time periods, and the
number of keywords shared by both periods varied by 32 between the first
and second periods. This means that the REM consolidates its terminology.