Migration, Livelihoods, and Development in the Post-Frontier: Evidence From the Brazilian Amazonia

Alisson F. Barbieri , Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Gilvan R. Guedes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Reinaldo Santos, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)

We use a twenty-five years panel of plots and households in Machadinho, Southern Brazilian Amazon, to show how population mobility over time is explained by the changing demographic composition, access and diversification of livelihoods as well as different stages of frontier development. The methods combine descriptive statistical analysis and the identification of profiles of livelihoods, household lifecycles and population mobility using latent class models. We show that highest levels of income and welfare are associated with households which diversify their livelihoods particularly in terms of mobility strategies. Despite anecdotal stories on the survival of stronger in the frontier, these may survive with deprived levels of capitals since more profitable migration strategies are income-selective. On the other hand, younger households in the frontier are a selective group, with more complex mechanisms for income generation, since they are entering a more urbanized and market-oriented frontier requesting higher levels of human capital.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography