Recent Submissions

  • The Chaninik Wind Group

    Schwoerer, Tobias; Meiners, Dennis; Fay, Ginny (UNEP Risø Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development, 2011)
    The Chaninik Wind Group project, a collaboration between Native communities in remote areas of Alaska that harnesses wind power to reduce energy costs, promotes self sufficiency and economic development
  • Youth in Crisis: Characteristics of Homeless Youth Served by Covenant House Alaska

    Martin, Stephanie; Villalobos Meléndez, Alejandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2010)
    This research is the result of a partnership between Covenant House Alaska and the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, as part of a national effort, initiated by Covenant House Institute, to create partnerships between Covenant House service providers and academic institutions. This report documents trends in use of Crisis Center at Covenant House Alaska and the characteristics of its clients. Use of Crisis Center, measured by visits and length of stay, has been increasing since 2003. The number of youth coming to Covenant House Crisis Center from outside of Anchorage is increasing, as is the number Alaska Natives served by Covenant House. Data indicate that many after aging out of foster care, many youth end up at Covenant House. Similarly many who receive mental health care outside of the state, return to Alaska and end up at Crisis Center. Few have high school diplomas or GED and three out of four are unemployed.
  • Trends in Bristol Bay Harvest, Production, and Markets

    Berry, Kevin (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2019)
    This presentation provides graph and chart data related to trends in Bristol Bay harvest, production, and markets for sockeye salmon. Data used is ADFG Commercial Annual Operator Report (COAR) data available through 2017, and Department of Revenue Salmon Price/Production Reports data available through October 2018. Areas covered include harvest volume, ex-vessel price, and ex-vessel value, end markets for Alaska salmon products, wholesale prices for Bristol Bay salmon products.
  • Trends in Atlantic Salmon Markets and Implications for Bristol Bay Salmon Markets

    Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2019)
    World salmon markets are dominated by farmed Atlantic salmon. As farmed salmon production has grown, Bristol Bay sockeye salmon has become an ever-smaller share of world salmon supply. Norway and Chile are by far the largest producers of farmed salmon, followed by the UK and Canada. Historically, year-over-year changes in US monthly imports have been inversely correlated with year-over-year changes in prices. What explains changes over time in the price premium or discount of sockeye relative to competing farmed salmon? Looking at the relationship between price and supply changes, we conclude that the market is able to absorb 6-7% more fish at stable prices. As a consequence, we expect a 5% increase in price is 2019 despite 4% supply growth.
  • Win or Lose: Residential Sorting After a School Choice Lottery

    Bibler, Andrew; Billings, Stephen (SSRN, 2018)
    We examine residential relocation and opting out of the public school system in response to school choice lottery outcomes. We show that rising kindergarten and sixth graders who lose a school choice lottery are 6 percentage points more likely to exit the district or change neighborhood schools (20-30% increase) and make up 0.14-0.35 standard deviations in average school test scores between lottery assignment and attendance the following year. Using hedonic-based estimates of land prices, we estimate that lottery losers pay a 9-11% housing price premium for access to a school with a one standard deviation higher mean test score.
  • Universal Cash Transfers Reduce Childhood Obesity Rates

    Watson, Brett; Reimer, Matthew; Guettabi, Mouhcine (SSRN, 2019)
    We evaluate the impact of universal income on childhood obesity. While the goals of implementing universal income are many, its influence on childhood obesity is of particular interest given the growing obesity epidemic and its future threat to global public health. We use evidence from Alaska’s universal income program, the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), which has provided annual, unconditional, and universal income to Alaskan residents for over thirty-five years. We use both survey and administrative data to evaluate how the availability of unconditional resources at an early developmental stage, in terms of PFD payments to the child, affects a child’s body mass index (BMI). Using date-of-birth eligibility cut-offs as an identification strategy, we find that an additional one thousand dollars in PFD payments decreases the probability of an Alaskan child being obese by as much as 4.5 percentage points. Back-of-the-envelope calculations for Alaska suggest these reduction may avert 500 cases of obesity and achieve medical cost savings of $2-10 million per year. These findings highlight just one of the potential social benefits of universal income and the potential it has as a tool for addressing the obesity epidemic.
  • Universal Cash Transfers and Labor Market Outcomes

    Bibler, Andrew; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Reimer, Matthew (SSRN, 2019)
    One major criticism of universal basic income is that unconditional cash transfers discourage recipients from working. We estimate the causal effects of a universal cash transfer on short-run labor market activity by exploiting the timing and variation of a long-running unconditional and universal transfer: Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend. We find evidence of both a positive labor demand and negative labor supply response to the transfers, document important heterogeneity across workers, and provide a set of placebo tests supporting our main results. Altogether, a $1,000 increase in the per-person disbursement leads to a 0.2% labor market contraction on an annual basis.
  • Universal Cash and Crime

    Watson, Brett; Reimer, Matthew; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2019)
    We estimate the effects of universal cash transfers on crime from Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, an annual lump-sum payment to all Alaska residents. We find a 14% increase in substance-abuse incidents the day after the payment and a 10% increase over the following four weeks. This is partially offset by a 8% decrease in property crime, with no changes in violent crimes. On an annual basis, however, changes in criminal activity from the payment are small. Estimated costs comprise a very small portion of the total payment, suggesting that crime-related concerns of a universal cash transfer program may be unwarranted.
  • Trends in Alaska's Health-Care Spending

    Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2018)
    All Americans spend a lot to get health care—but Alaskans spend the most per resident, face the highest insurance premiums, and have seen overall spending grow much faster. Here we highlight some trends in Alaska’s health-care spending since the 1990s, based on existing publicly available data that allow us to compare changes in Alaska and nationwide. A chart book with much more detail is available on ISER’s website. We hope this broad information on trends in health-care spending will help Alaskans better understand what happened, consider possible reasons why, and think about potential ways to change the upward spiral.
  • The Alaska Village Energy Model

    Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2013)
    We have constructed a simple but comprehensive village energy use model that includes space heating and transportation fuel use as well as electricity. Because people in isolated remote northern communities pay about 2/3 of their overall energy bills for heat and transportation (WH Pacific et al. 2012), knowledge of overall energy demand by major end use is important when considering energy systems that can make the best use of efficiency and renewables as resources to offset costly fossil fuels. Previous work (Devine & Baring-Gould 2004) provides community planners and policy makers with a good tool for estimating community electricity demand. This paper builds on that work with an integrated model that can be used to estimate overall village energy usage based on a relatively small number of socioeconomic characteristics, such as population; number of residential, commercial and public facilities; housing and building stock characteristics; and transportation patterns and equipment types. The Alaska Village Energy Model (AVEM) model uses the best available primary data from recent collection efforts, and can easily incorporate new data that may become available."
  • The Economic Significance of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District in the Kenai Peninsula Borough

    Pitney, Kim; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2011)
    The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is the largest single employer in the borough, providing over 1,200 jobs in the 2009-2010 school year. In addition to employment, school district purchases of goods and services directly supported an additional 250 jobs (Direct employment in Table 1). Those 1450 jobs supported over 600 more jobs (indirect and inducedimpact in Table 1) when employed households spent their income locally. The total payroll from district, direct, indirect and induced employment is almost $100 million. This paper (and the numbers in Table 1) report on the economic significance of the KPBSD. Economic significance analysis models how money is spent and re-spent within the economy, and how much leaks out of the economy (e.g., money spent while on vacation in Hawaii). Based on this modeling, the analysis calculates how much economic activity in the borough can be traced to the school district, as the district and the borough economy currently exist.
  • Susitna-Watana Cost of Power Analysis

    Colt, Steve (2013)
    This paper provides a simple analysis of the cost of the proposed Susitna-Watana hydroelectric project from a ratepayer perspective, using data current as of June 2013. The Susitna Case 1 assumptions include a capital cost of 5.19 billion 2012 dollars, 100% debt financing at 5.0%, and an on-line date of 2024. Under these assumptions plus others described below, the production cost of Susitna power in 2024 would be 13 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and the cost at a Railbelt customer’s meter would be about 18 cents per kWh.1 By comparison, if natural gas is available to electric utilities in year 2024 at a price of about $9.50 per million btu, and ignoring potential carbon taxes, then the production cost and retail cost of power from a new combined cycle gas turbine going online in 2024 would be about 11 cents and 16 cents per kWh, respectively.
  • Socio-economic effects of changing vegetation in Arctic Alaska

    Schmidt, Jennifer (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2018)
    Vegetation change is complex and as a result the socioeconomic impacts vary. Shrubification has consequences for energy production, transportation but more information is needed. Erosion is a major issue for many communities and how vegetation influences erosion is unclear, and communities not experiencing changes in vegetation around them can still be affected.
  • Ocean Acidification Risk Assessment for Alaska's Fishery Sector

    Cross, Jessica; Evans, Wiley; Hauri, Claudine; Hurst, T.P.; Ekstrom, Julia; Colt, Steve; Lucey, Noelle; Cooley, Sarah; Mathis, Jeremy; Feely, Richard (Elsevier, 2015)
    The highly productive fisheries of Alaska are located in seas projected to experience strong global change, including rapid transitions in temperature and ocean acidification-driven changes in pH and other chemical parameters. Many of the marine organisms that are most intensely affected by ocean acidification(OA) contribute substantially to the state’s commercial fisheries and traditional subsistence way of life. Prior studies of OA’s potential impacts on human communities have focused only on possible direct economic losses from specific scenarios of human dependence on commercial harvests and damages to marine species. However, other economic and social impacts, such as changes in food security or livelihoods, are also likely to result from climate change. This study evaluates patterns of dependence on marine resources within Alaska that could be negatively impacted by OA and current community characteristics to assess the potential risk to the fishery sector from OA. Here, we used a risk assessment framework based on one developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to analyze earth-system global ocean model hindcasts and projections of ocean chemistry, fisheries harvest data, and demographic information. The fisheries examined were: shellfish, salmon and other fin fish. The final index incorporates all of these data to compare overall risk among Alaska’s federally designated census areas. The analysis showed that regions in southeast and southwest Alaska that are highly reliant on fishery harvests and have relatively lower incomes and employment alternatives likely face the highest risk from OA.Although this study is an intermediate step toward our full understanding, the results presented here show that OA merits consideration in policy planning, as it may represent another challenge to Alaskan communities, some of which are already under acute socio-economic strains.
  • Promoting a Coordinated Multi-Site Evaluation for Community-Based Opioid Prevention Programs

    Hanson, Bridget; Barnett, Jodi (Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, 2019)
    The effectiveness of substance use prevention efforts is often difficult to measure over short grant cycles, especially for emerging issues such as prescription opioid misuse where data is less available and evidence-based strategies are not well understood. Coordinating state and community level evaluation efforts adds further complexity. Since 2016, six communities in Alaska, through a single federal funding stream, have worked to prevent opioid misuse among youth and young adults using policy, system, and environmental strategies. The project is focused on three key intervening variables to reduce prescription opioid misuse.The Alaska Partnerships for Success Project is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services (Grant #SP020783) through the State of Alaska, Division of Behavioral Health.
  • Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Practice Behaviors, Attitudes, and Confidence among Members of the American College of Nurse-Midwives 2017

    Hanson, Bridget; Neander, Lucia; Porter, Rebecca (Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, 2017)
    As part of an ACNM collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners and grantees on a project to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), ACNM members were surveyed to generate an assessment of practice behaviors of certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives related to the prevention of FASDs. The information will be used as a baseline from which to measure change in nurse-midwives’ and midwives’ practice behaviors over the course of the project. Results from the assessment will also be used to inform detailed collaborative activities between ACNM and CDC grantees whose efforts specifically target nurse-midwives (i.e., University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), University of California San Diego, University of Pittsburgh).
  • Potential Economics of Nuclear Small Modular Reactor Technology for Alaska

    Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2011)
    This presentation provides an overview of reactor model options and scenarios in which small scale nuclear might be economically feasible.
  • Policy Evaluation During the Opioid Epidemic

    Hanson, Bridget; Barnett, Jodi (Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, 2019)
    This presentation provides an overview of research in Alaska's policy responses to rises in opioid use between 2016 and 2018. It outlines outcomes from qualitative analysis of interviews.
  • 'Please tell us about a time you administered naloxone': Maximizing data collection opportunities with challenging informants

    Porter, Rebecca; Hanson, Bridget (Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, 2019)
    This presentation provides a brief overview of results from qualitative study of Naloxone distribution and opioid overdose prevention education program in Alaska, and was presented at a meeting of the American Evaluation Association held in Minneapolis, MN, November 2019.
  • Planting the Seeds to Examine Food Security Challenges in the Alaska Food-Energy-Water Nexus

    Schmidt, Jennifer I. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, 2019)
    What is the Food-Energy-Water Nexus? It is the relationship between the energy that is used to clean and treat water and to grow food. It is also the recognition that it takes water to grow food and produce electrical power, and that it takes food to power us all to keep these systems running. This set of relationships can be considered at different scales including the "micro" that is most characteristic of small island communities in Alaska. This presentation was delivered at the Alaska Food Policy Council 2019 Festival and Conference.

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