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The influence of migration processes on rural development: a case study from Scotland


  • Bergmann, Holger
  • Thompson, Kenneth J.


In the past, much rural development planning has relied on the concept of growth poles. With the “new rural paradigm”, we find that place-specific development and bottom-up approaches have become more popular than ever. Such place-based development often envisages the use of social capital. However, insofar as social capital is a local asset that is incorporated in individuals, it can easily be destroyed but not easily rebuilt. Continued out-migration and low in-migration into rural areas can have detrimental effects on social capital, and subsequently weaken bottom-up processes in the short and medium term. This paper - based on a survey of 1412 persons in northern Scotland - suggests that intensified migratory processes destroy social capital in rural remote as well as in urban areas. The results show that not only does actual out-migration decrease the available stock of social capital but also that mere intentions to out-migrate do so as well. Insofar as social capital can be built or re-built only in the long term, policies are therefore needed that offer potential out-migrants place-specific opportunities and increase the rate of integration of in-migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergmann, Holger & Thompson, Kenneth J., 2010. "The influence of migration processes on rural development: a case study from Scotland," 118th Seminar, August 25-27, 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia 94914, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa118:94914

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Loizou, Efstratios & Mattas, Konstadinos & Rozakis, Stelios & Tzouvelekas, Vangelis, 2005. "Policy Decisions Evaluation in Agriculture Employing Input-Output Techniques: The Case of Tobacco Sector Regime Reform," 89th Seminar, February 2-5, 2005, Parma, Italy 234614, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    More about this item


    migration; social capital; rural Scotland; new rural paradigm; trust; Community/Rural/Urban Development; R23; R58; Z13; D71;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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