Home Institution

Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


This study considers the perspectives of the petroleum industry of three sites throughout Ecuador: the capital (Quito), a major Amazonian city (Coca), and a small Amazonian community (Loma del Tigre). Twenty-five surveys were distributed in each site with questions regarding socioeconomic factors, benefits of the petroleum industry, motivations behind these opinions, and economic alternatives to petroleum. Of the 75 participants, 79.7% were against the exploitation of the ITT petroleum Block in Yasuní National Park. Quito was most opposed and Loma del Tigre was least opposed to ITT exploitation. Perceived benefits from the petroleum industry were minimal: 33.8% felt that their community benefitted, 66.4% felt that the country benefited, and 29.7% felt that the government used petroleum profits for their personal benefit. A statistical analysis of the results compared responses by site and demographic factors. Quito surveys reported fewer industry benefits for the country than did the other sites, but acknowledged more benefits on a personal level. Income levels were correlated with differences in perspectives, with those more affluent more firmly against petroleum. Higher levels of education were related with less support for the exploitation of the ITT Block, but unrelated to more perceived benefits for the community and individual. Gender did not correspond to any trends in question responses. Although it is not a comprehensive consideration of the entire country, and could be subject to survey bias, this study provides a primary investigation of differences in views on petroleum in Ecuador across socioeconomic status.


Natural Resource Economics | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Oil, Gas, and Energy


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