Research on tropical deforestation has been prolific, yet few studies have assessed the long-term dynamics of frontier migration and the resulting impacts on deforestation. These lacunae arise from the difficulty of obtaining the panel data required to evaluate the dynamic socioeconomic and land use processes of the advancing and aging frontier. Furthermore, the quality and design of household surveys reported in the land use literature are often not transparent, limiting possibilities for comparing results. This article first describes a three-round spatial panel survey of households in a settled and heavily deforested Amazon frontier region. We detail several methods that are employed to ensure and assess data quality. Second, we estimate forest clearing at the agent (household) level, using several sets of explanatory variables and sub-samples that would be generated by applying different field methodologies. We find the definition of the panel agent and the sampling frame to influence our estimations.
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