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Migration within the Frontier: The Second Generation Colonization in the Ecuadorian Amazon


Barbieri, Alisson F.; Carr, David L.; & Bilsborrow, Richard E. (2009). Migration within the Frontier: The Second Generation Colonization in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Population Research and Policy Review, 28(3), 291-320. PMCID: PMC2720558


Since the 1970s, migration to the Amazon has led to a growing human presence and resulting dramatic changes in the physical landscape of the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon frontier, including considerable deforestation. Over time, a second demographic phenomenon has emerged with the children of the original migrants leaving settler farms to set out on their own. The vast majority have remained in the Amazon region, some contributing to further changes in land use via rural–rural migration to establish new farms and others to incipient urbanization. This paper uses longitudinal, multi-scale data on settler colonists between 1990 and 1999 to analyze rural–rural and rural–urban migration among second-generation colonists within the region. Following a description of migrants and settlers in terms of their individual, household and community characteristics, a multinomial discrete-time hazard model is used to estimate the determinants of out-migration of the second generation settlers to both urban and rural areas. We find significant differences in the determinants of migration to the two types of destinations in personal characteristics, human capital endowments, stage of farm and household lifecycles, migration networks, and access to community resources and infrastructure. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications of migrants’ choice of rural versus urban destinations.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population Research and Policy Review


Barbieri, Alisson F.
Carr, David L.
Bilsborrow, Richard E.