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Deforestation, Land Use, and Women’s Agricultural Activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon


Thapa, Keshari Kansakar; Bilsborrow, Richard E.; & Murphy, Laura (1996). Deforestation, Land Use, and Women's Agricultural Activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. World Development, 24(8), 1317-1332.


Migrant women's participation in agricultural activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon frontier is examined using 1990 household survey data. A recursive model is developed to test women's participation in agriculture as a function of household's land use and land area cleared (deforested), women's characteristics, use of hired labor, and household income. Results suggest that both hired labor and off-farm income “substitute” for women's labor in agriculture. Women who have more young children are more likely to be involved in agriculture. Conversely, women are less likely to work in agriculture the larger the proportion of the cleared area in pasture versus crops, partly because raising cattle requires less labor than crops. Some implications of these results for policies to develop the frontier, provide better infrastructure and services, and conserve the rainforest are discussed in the conclusion, and suggestions are provided for improved future data collection and analysis to examine the linkages between women's work, frontier agriculture and land use.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

World Development


Thapa, Keshari Kansakar
Bilsborrow, Richard E.
Murphy, Laura