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Population mobility of indigenous peoples: an analysis of the multi-level determinants of off-farm employment in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Jason Bremner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Clark L. Gray, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Flora Lu Holt, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Population mobility is an important demographic process related to patterns of market integration of indigenous peoples. In the context of the Amazon, population mobility, other than colonization, has received scant attention. Research on the mobility of indigenous populations in particular is underrepresented in the literature. The process of market integration itself suggests various forms of population mobility such as out-migration, temporary migration for off-farm employment, travel to markets, and commuting to job sites. This paper focuses on off-farm employment, and uses a multi-level model to examine the individual, household, and community factors that impact the mobility decision. The study uses data from a survey of 500 households representing 5 different indigenous groups to compare cross-culturally the demographic, geographic, socio-economic, and biophysical determinants of off-farm employment. The research is an advance in that it integrates existing conceptual frameworks of mobility determinants and applies the integrated framework in a new context.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Poster Session 3