Land use as a mediating factor of fertility in the Amazon
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Despite implications for both humans and the environment, a scant body of research examines fertility in forest frontiers. This study examines the fertility–environment association using empirical data from Ecuadorian Amazon between 1980 and 1999. Fertility dramatically declined during this period, and our empirical models suggest that households’ relationship to land partially explains this decline. Controlling for known fertility determinants such as age and education, women in households lacking land titles experienced a 27 % higher birth rate than did women in households with land titles. This suggests insecure land tenure was associated with higher fertility. Furthermore, each additional hectare of new pasture was associated with a 16 % higher birth rate, suggesting the potential role of a more stable and lucrative income source in supporting additional births. Findings from this research can help inform strategic policies to address sustainable development in frontier environments.
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