People, Land, and Context: Multilevel Determinants of Off-farm Employment in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
This paper investigates the factors that motivate decisions of settler colonists to engage in off-farm employment (OFE) in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA). Overall, OFE, as a type of population mobility, may increasingly become a dominant demographic factor in rural frontier regions. Although OFE decisions are primarily a matter of individual choice, factors associated with the farm household and the local community also play key roles in this decision-making. This paper applies a multilevel conceptual framework and uses a multinomial, multilevel statistical model to study OFE in the NEA in 1999 as a result of factors at the individual, farm household, and community levels. The results show important differences between OFE participation choices in personal characteristics, human capital, farm household life cycle, land use, land management, farm environmental conditions, transportation accessibility, community size, and structure of local labor markets. The paper also identifies the effects of policy-relevant variables on choices to engage in OFE in local community, other rural, or urban areas of destination.
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