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Pichón, Francisco J. (1997). Colonist Land-Allocation Decisions, Land Use, and Deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon Frontier. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 45(4), 707-744.


As one of the last agricultural frontiers of the humid tropics, Amazonia is the largest area of the world currently undergoing frontier settlement. Although the earliest intrusions of foreign populations into Amazonia date from pre-Hispanic times, the large-scale entrance of peasant colonists into the vast region is a recent phenomenon. Much of this movement represents the spontaneous migration of peoples, but governments in the region have also become increasingly interested in opening up and integrating Amazonia to national and international economies. These actions are frequently seen as potential solutions to a number of national
problems, including the need to increase agricultural production, correct spatial imbalances in the distribution of population, exploit frontier lands for reasons of national security, and defuse potentially serious political problems resulting from the existing agrarian structure, landlessness, and unemployment.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Economic Development and Cultural Change


Pichón, Francisco J.