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Pichón, Francisco J. (1996). Land-Use Strategies in the Amazon Frontier: Farm-Level Evidence from Ecuador. Human Organization, 55(4), 416-424.


This article uses farm-level data to assess the role of ecological factors, household characteristics, and policy factors in shaping overall land-use strategies among settler farmers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The survey data which form the basis for the analysis were collected by the author in 1990 from a probability sample of 450 colonist households. A descriptive cluster analysis is used to highlight the differences across and within the observed land-use strategies regarding the underlying resource base available to farmers, the socioeconomic characteristics of farm households, and the policy environment that affect them. The findings question the inevitability of a generalized pattern of forest clearing over time constrained by a "straitjacket" of natural resources and suggest that the range of land-use options open to farmers is narrowed or widened under different socioeconomic circumstances and policy factors. The results given are exploratory and intended to stimulate further discussion.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Human Organization


Pichón, Francisco J.