Tsimane' Amazonian Panel Study, El Beni, Bolivia, 2002-2010 TAPS Version 1


This is an annual longitudinal panel study of the Tsimane' society, referred to as the Tsimane' Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS). The Tsimane' are native Amazonian foragers-horticulturists who live mainly in the Department of El Beni, Bolivia. TAPS is aimed at measuring the impact on a small-scale rural society undergoing lifestyle changes from unabating contact with the market economy. All residents in 13 villages along the Maniqui River were surveyed annually from 2002 until 2010. Variables in the dataset capture a broad range of data on socioeconomic conditions and health status, including: demography; exact physical measurements (anthropometrics); horticultural inputs and outputs; uses of natural resources; current wealth in physical assets and recent monetary earnings; conviviality; health status and medical test results; and substance use. The units of analysis are villages, households, and individuals.

The Tsimane' Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS) is a study of the Tsimane', a native Amazonian society of horticulturist-foragers in the early stages of incessant exposure to the market economy. TAPS is one of a few panel studies in an out-of-the-way, small-scale rural society undergoing lifestyle changes from unabating contact with the market economy and the outside world. The purpose of the study was to find out why and how trade with the outside world shaped the well-being of people near autarchy. Well-being in this study includes monetary income, asset wealth, conviviality, consumption, production, health (both physical and psychological), and human capital, a term encompassing formal schooling or educational attainment, academic skills learned in school (e.g., reading, math), and traditional or folk knowledge of local plants, animals, parasites, or weather. Repeated measures from the same people and households--via annual surveys over 9 years--make it possible to estimate cause-and-effect relations unattainable with data gathered only at one time. Data in this study can be used to estimate the standard link between two variables, such as the link between the amount of monetary earnings and good health. It can also be used to estimate growth rates of variables, or the link between the level of a variable in the past with the level of the variable in the future. For instance, one can estimate the association between the height of children during early childhood and the height of the same children during puberty, or the annual growth rate in height between early childhood and puberty. TAPS has roots in a panel study among the Tawahka, a Native American society in eastern Honduras. Centered on two nearby villages along the Patuca River varying in their proximity to a small rural town downriver, the study produced a short panel of six consecutive quarters (June 1994 - December 1995). The study dealt with the footprint of market exposure on people's use of natural resources and on the abundance of those resources in the wild. Research in Honduras had two shortcomings: a small sample of observations and little variation in contact with the market, making it impossible to generalize from the study. The Tsimane' in Bolivia were a larger group with more variation in contact with the market. They encompassed bilingual speakers fluent in Spanish and Tsimane' who were accustomed to dealing with Westerners, and secluded monolinguals dwelling several days away from towns. Research began after the study team received approval from the Tsimane' Council and wrote a code of ethics for the planned panel study. A three-part pre-study conducted between 1999 - 2000 provided the ethnographic and quantitative information necessary to design the TAPS model and sample.

To collect data, two teams of senior researchers, each accompanied by a Tsimane' translator, visited a list of households provided by village authorities in each of the villages studied. The teams remained in each village for 7-10 consecutive days canvassing all households. Interviews were done in people's homes and lasted a total of about two hours. If a villager knew Spanish, a senior Bolivian researcher spoke in Spanish with the villager, otherwise a Tsimane' translator stepped in to help. During the 7-10 days in a village, surveyors set aside 1-2 days to take anthropometric measures in the village school. While in a village, the teams tried to find missing participants by re-visiting their homes after the first attempt to interview them, but - except for 2005 and 2006 - they did not try to find people who were still missing after the second attempt to contact them. They studied only villagers willing to participate in the study. The teams did the survey during the dry season (May-August). Survey questions were addressed to all people 16 years of age and older, or younger if they already headed a household. For people under 16 years of age, questions about perceived health were obtained from the principal caretaker, typically the mother. Questions about household food consumption were directed to the female head of the household, and questions about horticulture were directed to the male head of the household; if the target subject was absent, the other household head was asked. Questions about the village were directed at a village authority. To thank them for their participation, the TAPS team gave individuals, households, villages, and the Tsimane' Council goods and services.

The dataset has a total of 830 variables about individuals (e.g. body weight), 218 variables about households (e.g. area of forest cleared), and 163 variables about villages (e.g. village-to-town travel time). Demographic variables include gender, age, religion, ethnicity, language, level of education, birthplace, and family makeup. The panel was funded via several stand-alone research projects which happened at different times. Each project had a different purpose, such as examining the links between local plant knowledge and health, or the association between contact with the market and psychological well-being. The assortment of studies tied to different grants explains why the final panel contains a core set of variables that was measured annually (e.g. earnings) and a number of other variables measured intermittently. Some variables (e.g. gender) were measured only once because they did not change.

Response Rates: On average, only 0.52% of an annual sample refused to take part in the study, and only 0.17% of the annual sample could not participate owing to old age, disability, or to illness.

Datasets:DS1: Dataset

Tsimane' villages, households, and individuals in Bolivia between 2002 and 2010. Smallest Geographic Unit: Village

Every year during nine consecutive years (2002-2010), the TAPS team collected data on the same individuals, households, and villages. The baseline sample (2002) included all 1,357 people living in 13 villages along the Maniqui River, in the department of El Beni, Bolivia. The sample targeted an estimated 7-11% of the total adult Tsimane' population in the region. In later years the sample averaged 1,661 people and included respondents who had migrated to a 14th village.

face-to-face interview

DOI https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37671.v1
Metadata Access https://www.da-ra.de/oaip/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_dc&identifier=oai:oai.da-ra.de:762406
Creator Godoy, Ricardo A.; Leonard, William R.
Publisher Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Contributor National Science Foundation
Publication Year 2020
Rights Delivery; One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
OpenAccess true
Contact Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Language English
Resource Type Dataset; survey data
Discipline Social Sciences