• How Does Alaska's Spending Compare?

      Leask, Linda; Tran, Trang; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-02-01)
      A laskans have been arguing for years about how much the state government should be spending, ever since low oil prices gouged a big hole in the budget—and the state has been using up its savings to pay the bills. We don’t know how much the state should spend: that answer depends on what things Alaskans want to keep, and what they’ll pay for them. But we can throw some light on the debate.
    • How Hard Is It for Alaska’s Medicare Patients to Find Family Doctors?

      Frazier, Rosyland; Foster, Mark A. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-03)
      In the past few years, Alaskans have been hearing reports that some primary-care doctors won’t see new Medicare patients. Medicare pays these doctors only about two-thirds of what private insurance pays—and that’s after a sizable increase in 2009. But most Americans 65 or older have to use Medicare as their main insurance, even if they also have private insurance. Just how widespread is the problem of Alaska’s primary-care doctors turning away Medicare patients? ISER surveyed hundreds of doctors to find out—and learned that so far there’s a major problem in Anchorage, a noticeable problem in the Mat-Su Borough and Fairbanks, and almost no problem in other areas.
    • How Has the 80th Percentile Rule Affected Alaska's Health-Care Expenditures?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-05-16)
      We use the Health Expenditures by State of Residence data (1991-2014) compiled by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to examine the causal effect of the 80th percentile rule on Alaska's health care expenditures. We find evidence that Alaska's expenditures would have been lower in the absence of rule. The share of the overall increase in expenditures that we attribute to the 80th percentile rule is between 8.61% and 24.65%. It is important to note that using expenditures as a proxy for costs has limitations as it is the product of both quantity of services used and prices.
    • How Has the 80th Percentile Rule Affected Alaska's Health-Care Expenditures?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 5/16/2018)
      We use the Health Expenditures by State of Residence data (1991-2014) compiled by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to examine the causal effect of the 80th percentile rule on Alaska's health care expenditures. We find evidence that Alaska's expenditures would have been lower in the absence of rule. The share of the overall increase in expenditures that we attribute to the 80th percentile rule is between 8.61% and 24.65%. It is important to note that using expenditures as a proxy for costs has limitations as it is the product of both quantity of services used and prices.
    • How Is the State Dealing With the Shortfall in Pension Systems?

      Groh, Cliff (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-04-18)
      I n early 2003, financial analysts gave Alaska state officials some very bad news: the two largest pension systems for public employees wouldn’t have the money to cover all the expected future costs of pensions and health-care benefits for state and local employees when they retired. This shortfall—called the unfunded liability— had been caused by, among other things, several years of poor returns on fund investments and soaring health-care costs. Public pensions are protected in Alaska’s constitution, and the state has already contributed nearly $7 billion to reduce the shortfall. How much more it will need to pay is uncertain, since it depends on many things that are hard to predict. But most analysts believe it will be billions more. That poses a major challenge for the state—which has been dealing with big budget deficits—and for local governments, which need to help pay the unfunded liability but have far smaller financial reserves than the state.
    • How much does Alaska spend on K-12 education?

      Defeo, Dayna; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 9/30/2019)
      Education funding in Alaska, as in most states, is one of the largest allocations in the state operating budget. In 2017, Alaska�s K-12 per-pupil spending was $17,838, which is 46% higher than the national average. However, a lot of things in Alaska are expensive relative to national averages: healthcare, food, and energy, to name just a few. In this paper we adjusted Alaska�s data from the US Census Bureau 2017 Annual Survey of School System Finances to state and national cost indices, and find that Alaska�s per-pupil expenditures are on par with national averages. As many drivers of Alaska�s education costs extend beyond education policy, we caution against cuts that leave districts with few choices but to diminish the teacher workforce by eliminating positions or hiring lower quality teachers with less competitive salaries.
    • How Much Should Alaska Save?

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-02)
      Alaska today is in the lucky position of having an estimated $126 billion in petroleum wealth— $45 billion in savings accounts derived from oil revenues, and $81 billion in future state revenues from oil and gas still in the ground--if current official state projections prove accurate. Almost all state revenues come from oil, as they have for 30 years. But oil production is now only a third of what it once was, and analysts think that even with new discoveries and enhanced recovery, production from state lands will keep dropping. So Alaskans face a dilemma: how can we preserve this petroleum wealth for future generations, while still benefitting from it ourselves? The answer is to limit how much we spend today from our petroleum wealth, and invest the savings in income generating assets. The income from those assets would grow over time and gradually replace declining petroleum revenues. We’ve already taken a major step, by depositing 24% of past oil revenues into savings accounts. Is that enough?
    • How Petroleum Has Transformed the Alaska Economy

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-05-13)
    • How to Make Friends and Influence Students

      Burgert, Lisa; Nann, Alejandra; Sterling, Lorelei (California Academic & Research Libraries, 2014-04)
      Given the widespread adoption of social media on the University of San Diego’s (USD) campus, Copley Library formed a Social Media Committee to manage the library’s social media presence with a mission to promote the library’s services and events. To determine which social media platforms undergraduates were using the committee designed and administered a survey in the fall of 2013. The survey confirmed that USD undergraduates were still using Facebook and showed 56% use multiple social media sites. The conference session discussed Copley Library’s implementation of four social networking platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
    • How to Prolong the Career Life of a Practicing Physician: Assessing the Causes and Extent of Physician Burnout in a Primary Care Setting

      Tsigonis, Jean M. W. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      Physicians report widespread burnout and job dissatisfaction. Institutional and personal changes are necessary for meaningful work and restoration of the joy of the practice of medicine. This practicum project conducted a survey to assess the causes and extent of physician burnout at Tanana Valley Clinic (TVC). The Areas of Worklife Survey-Maslach Burnout Inventory (AWS-MBI) was used to gather data on the causes and extent of physician burnout. Analysis of the AWS-MBI survey data produced by Mind Garden was done by the principal investigator. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) assesses the extent of physician burnout. The Areas of Worklife Survey (AWS) reveals causes of burnout and enables directed interventions to help decrease the physician burnout. The data indicate that burnout does exist in two of the three areas of burnout assessed: emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Specific areas in the worklife were identified that cause burnout: workload, control, fairness and value. Suggestion for future direction includes interventions, analysis of those interventions, and an evaluation plan.
    • How Vulnerable Is Alaska’s Economy to Reduced Federal Spending?

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-07)
      About a third of all jobs in Alaska can be traced to federal spending here—and over the past decade the rapid increase in federal spending drove much of the economic growth. Federal spending in Alaska more than doubled between 1995 and 2005, and in 2006 it was $9.25 billion. But now federal spending here has stopped growing, and many Alaskans are worried that the economy is vulnerable to spending cuts as the federal budget tightens. This analysis estimates that Alaska could be vulnerable to federal spending cuts in the range of $450 million to $1.25 billion—which could cost the economy anywhere from about 7,000 to 20,000 jobs in the future. We estimate potential vulnerability as a range, because it’s impossible to predict with any precision how federal spending will actually change. The best we can do is estimate the likely magnitude of reductions, given federal budget problems. Any cuts will likely be made gradually, over time, and recent strength in the petroleum and mining sectors will help cushion the effects.
    • How Would$1,200 Per Person State Payments Compare With Increased Household Costs for Energy Use?

      Colt, Steve; Saylor, Ben (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-07-11)
      In the face of sharply rising energy costs, Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin, has proposed to pay every Alaskan $1,200 to help cover those increased costs. The Alaska Legislature will be considering the governor’s proposal in the special session that began July 9. How would the proposed payments—about $3,300 for the average-size Alaska household—compare with recent increases in energy costs? We looked at that question and present our estimates here. But these truly are estimates, because there’s not much current information about the types and amounts of energy Alaska households use.
    • Human Resources, Training and Education: A Survey of Alaska Criminal Justice Agencies

      Ring, Peter Smith (Criminal Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1976-09)
      This report presents results of a survey of Alaska criminal justice agencies. The survey was designed to provide baseline data on the educational levels of criminal justice personnel and existing training programs in Alaska; and to elicit from criminal justice agencies their views on subject areas — both in higher education programs and in continuing professional development programs — which those agencies believed deserved attention. A total of 47 agencies, offices, institutions within agencies, and individuals responded to the survey, out of a total of 78 to whom surveys were sent. Respondents represented the law enforcement agencies, the Alaska Court System, the Alaska Department of Law, the Alaska Public Defender, and correctional agencies including probation/parole.
    • Idea to Invention Project Report

      Aicher, Dan (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-12-17)
      The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) estimates that 1-3% of patented inventions produce profits for the inventor. The cost of filing and examination for a non-provisional patent can range from $2,000 to $10,000 and beyond. ATC Company understands this uncertainty and will undertake a project to invent a new shelter product and determine its marketability, prior to investing in a non-provisional patent. The Idea to Invention project objective is to apply Project Management principles and develop a process for inventing an idea, measuring the idea’s utility and commercial viability as a product, conducting a patent search and producing a thorough Provisional Patent Application. Specifically, the project will deliver both a product line of ATC’s and a process for establishing first to invent rights to patenting the ATC’s function and method of operation. Unlike most recreational tent products available, ATCs do not require a flat or suitable site for setup; rather, ATCs deliver ultralightweight, highly adaptable weather protection and concealment nearly anywhere in the field.
    • Identification and Comparison of Gray Literature in Two Polar Libraries: Australian Antarctic Division and Scott Polar Research Institute

      Carle, Daria O. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-09-15)
      Gray literature collections were investigated and compared at the libraries of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in order to improve accessibility. These collections are important to Arctic and Antarctic researchers, but are problematic because they are not well documented, often have limited access, and are arranged by subject using a classification system specific to polar libraries. Tangible results of the project include estimates of the number of gray literature items in the polar subject categories for the two libraries, along with a template of a user’s finding aid to these collections. In addition, 172 sources from four Antarctic expeditions in the early part of the 20th century were selected as a representative sample; 64 from AAD and 108 from SPRI. While small, the sample was a focused topic with enough variety of materials to provide good examples for accessibility issues. Inquiries are continually received at AAD and SPRI for information related to these four expeditions, so improved access will be beneficial for both researchers and the two institutions. Making the material more available is also very timely, anticipating renewed interest from the public with the approaching centennial celebrations of two of the expeditions coming up in 2010 and 2011. Despite the similar subject nature of the collections, only ten items were duplicated in the two libraries. Solutions for improving access, such as linking the gray literature collections to broader initiatives are addressed in more detail in the final report. Providing the references in a metadata format to include in an online catalog or linked to a website will increase visibility and use of the materials. Suggestions for improving the arrangement of the materials and reducing duplication within the collections are also discussed in the final report available on my blog. http://www.consortiumlibrary.org/blogs/dcarle/sabbatical/
    • Identifying the Potential for Cross-Fishery Spillovers: A Network Analysis of Alaskan Permitting Patterns, Working Paper, Resources for the Future

      Addicott, Ethan T.; Kroetz, Kailin; Reimer, Matthew; Sanchirico, James N.; Lew, Daniel K.; Huetteman, Justine (Resources for the Future, 2016-12-01)
      Many fishermen own a portfolio of permits across multiple fisheries, creating an opportunity for fishing effort to adjust across fisheries and enabling impacts from a policy change in one fishery to spill over into other fisheries. In regions with a large and diverse number of permits and fisheries, joint-permitting can result in a complex system, making it difficult to understand the potential for cross-fishery substitution. In this study, we construct a network representation of permit ownership to characterize interconnectedness between Alaska commercial fisheries due to cross-fishery permitting. The Alaska fisheries network is highly connected, suggesting that most fisheries are vulnerable to cross-fishery spillovers from network shocks, such as changes to policies or fish stocks. We find that fisheries with similar geographic proximity are more likely to be a part of a highly connected cluster of susceptible fisheries. We use a case study to show that preexisting network statistics can be useful for identifying the potential scope of policy-induced spillovers. Our results demonstrate that network analysis can improve our understanding of the potential for policy-induced cross-fishery spillovers.
    • The Impact of Anchorage's 2000 and 2007 Smoke-Free Policies on Select Restaurants and Bars

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Frazier, Rosyland; Cueva, Katie; Wheeler, John; Nye, Peggy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-01)
      The American Lung Association in Alaska (ALAA) asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to investigate the impact of the Anchorage 2000 and 2007 Clean Indoor Air (CIA) municipal ordinances on selected restaurants and bars. As previous U.S. studies have been conducted that speak to the economic and health impacts of CIA laws, ALAA also requested that ISER synthesize results of these existing studies and conduct a survey on restaurant and bar representatives’ perceptions of the impact of the ordinances.
    • Impacts of Fish Waste Piles in Alaska

      Martich, Tara (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      The goal of this practicum project was to complete a meta-analysis and identify the location, size, and impact of fish waste piles on waterbodies in Alaska in one comprehensive report. Data collection for this project included obtaining secondary data from publicly available sources. Alaskan shorebased seafood processing facilities discharge water mixed with fish waste from an outfall(s). Once discharged, buoyant fish waste enters the water column and floats to the surface, while denser fragments sink. Fish waste accumulates on the seafloor and creates fish waste piles. A persistent fish waste pile depletes the oxygen from the water column, smothers benthic invertebrates, alters benthic habitat and creates dead zones, all which lead to changes in the overall ecosystem. As the deposited material breaks down, it produces hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which may be released into the environment and affect aquatic ecosystem health. Less than fifty percent of the facilities in the data set are in compliance with the requirement to monitor their fish waste piles. At least 115 acres of the Alaska seafloor is covered by fish waste piles and the impacts of these 115 acres are not widely known. The recovery process of benthic communities is typically different than a simple reverse of the pattern observed during its decline. It is unlikely that any benthic community impacted by these fish waste piles will recover to its original state, even if the organic loading ceases.
    • The Impacts of the “Hunker Down” order in Anchorage

      Berry, Kevin (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-21)
      This brief models the COVID-19 epidemic in Anchorage Alaska to better understand the impact of the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) “Hunker Down” order and provide insight into the potential benefit of the State of Alaska (SOA) “Stay at Home” order. The economic benefits of the hunker down order are measured in avoided mortality, based on the EPA value of a statistical life of $7.5 million. The benefits are for the epidemic to date based on confirmed cases and a simulation of an Anchorage epidemic based on epidemiological parameters from the scientific literature. Modeling suggests ~5400 deaths were avoided to date. Using a value of a statistical life of $7.5 million, the hunker down order is estimated to have avoided $40.5 billion in mortality due to COVID-19 to date. The economic costs of the shutdown are estimated based on the expected loss of GDP in Alaska, at roughly $4 billion to date. The long run economic costs are not estimated in this report, and will be heavily influenced by efforts by individuals to avoid infection. The estimates of the economic cost are also an upper bound estimate, as many of the costs may have happened regardless of the hunker down order as individuals avoided public spaces to protect themselves.
    • Implementation and Evaluation of a Prescribed Exercise Program Led by a Nurse Practitioner

      Keefer, Leigh Aurora (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      Insufficient physical exercise contributes to many disease processes and increases mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. If the world population were to adhere to recommended levels of physical activity, health outcomes would improve. To that end, clinical practices need to consider exercise interventions to improve patient self-efficacy to adhere to recommended physical activity guidelines. A family nurse practitioner led such an intervention in a primary care clinic in Anchorage, Alaska. It evaluated a prescriptive-exercise program using the Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine. This pilot targeted healthy adults between 18 and 64 years old who were not exercising at least 150 minutes per week. From 20 applicants, eight participants qualified and entered into a 12-week prescribed exercise program. Seven completed the intervention and the subsequent post self-efficacy survey and measurement collection. Measured outcomes were self-efficacy, blood pressure, body mass index and participant’s commitment to follow through with continued exercise. Significant findings from this exercise intervention included (1) increased self-efficacy from “sense of accomplishment”, (2) reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure and (3) indications that participants would continue physical activity level per recommended guidelines. It is conclusive that implementation of a prescription-exercise guideline in clinical practice can improve the population’s self-efficacy to adhere to the recommended levels of physical activity, and lower blood pressure. Meeting adequate physical activity levels mitigates disease development, improves health outcomes and reduces health care system costs.