Out-migration of second generation frontier colonists and population redistribution in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Alisson F. Barbieri, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
David Carr, University of California, Santa Barbara

Since the 1970s, in-migration has driven swelling human presence and dramatic physical landscape changes in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon frontier. Particularly in recent years, population growth and redistribution has engendered important consequences on deforestation and on the incipient, but increasing, urbanization in the frontier. This paper uses longitudinal and multi-scale data on settler colonists in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon, between 1990 and 1999, to analyze the neglected importance of rural-rural and rural-urban migration of second-generation settler colonists from frontier areas in the Amazon. The results show important differentials between migrants in terms of personal characteristics, human capital endowments, farm household life cycle, access to community resources and infrastructure, and migration networks. The paper also identifies the distinct effects of policy-relevant variables on migrants’ choices of rural versus urban destinations.

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Presented in Session 102: The demography of the frontier