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Government and the Economy on the Amazon Frontier logo This report illuminates the special characteristics of the overall political-economic context confronting governments on the Amazon frontier as the current pattern of development often results in violent conflict and wasteful environmental damage. The main messages of the report are: 1) settlers in the Amazon do appear to be improving their standard of living compared to people with same education and skills outside the Amazon; 2) transience and farm turnover on the frontier is due to powerful and fundamental economic forces; 3) transience, farm turnover, and even apparent land abandonment is not necessarily linked to degradation of the agricultural resource base; 4) more attention needs to be given to the importance of reconciling the needs of local politicians with externally designed projects; 5) creating a political coalition to support policies for orderly frontier development is difficult; 6) roads are the fundamental determinant of settlement; 7) allocating land initially to small farmers is not only good policy from an equity standpoint, but it is also the most efficient and orderly way to settle new lands; and finally 8) national governments must define their objectives carefully with regards to establishing government beyond the economic frontier.

Publisher: World Bank

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