Recent Submissions

  • Beaver Creek National Wild River: economic valuation of recreation

    Lang, Lumir; Little, Joseph; Valcic, Branka; Johnsen, James (2009-05)
    "This research examines economic values associated with recreation at Beaver Creek National Wild River (NWR) of Interior Alaska. Recreational activities are the focus of the economic valuation. Two methods, benefit transfer and a survey, are conducted. A Benefit Transfer Method is employed using a database of studies containing values of recreational activities in the U.S.A Survey, performed in summer of 2008, is used to examine the characteristics and values at Beaver Creek NWR. Upon conclusion of the obtained present values of the recreational activities, scenarios are developed to comprehend the future values and changes in recreation at Beaver Creek NWR"--Leaf iii
  • UAF's light-duty vehicle fleet lifecyle, maintenance costs and composition: ordinary least square regression and panel data analysis

    Hix, Edward R.; Wright, Christopher; Baek, Jungho; Little, Joe; Goering, Greg; Platt, Nathan (2020-08)
    The University of Alaska Fairbanks maintains a vehicle fleet for use by its staff, faculty, and students. Given the multifaceted needs of the campus and the impact that the harsh subarctic climate can have on vehicles, management of the fleet to meet the needs of its users is a complex task. One method UAF uses to manage the cost of the fleet is to extract the depreciation expense from each fleet vehicle into a non-interest bearing recharge account to eventually purchase its replacement. While several reviews have been conducted regarding the management of this fleet, a gap in research involves analysis of cost of this fleet over its lifecycle. This study examined the effects of fleet vehicle lifecycle extension beyond the predetermined 10-year useful life at UAF. Three novel datasets were created from UAF Facilities Services' archival maintenance work order data: a vehicle dataset, work order dataset, and a panel dataset. Ordinary least squares regression methods were used to examine the impact of model year on a vehicle's nominal purchase price and the impact of vehicle specification on real purchase price. Fixed and random effects panel methods were used to examine the impact of vehicle specification and vehicle age on maintenance costs. The effects of extending the fleet lifecycle from ten to twenty-years on maintenance and operational cost were estimated. Population dynamics models estimated the impact of the ten year lifecycle extension on the replacement fund. The results of this study suggested increasing vehicle lifecycles by ten years increased operating, maintenance, and replacement costs and effectively reduced the replacement fund purchasing power. The extension of vehicle lifecycles resulted in continually increasing rental rates and ultimately to the insolvency of the replacement fund.
  • Effects of wind energy utilization on long-run fuel consumption in remote Alaska microgrids

    Vaught, Laura K.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Pride, Dominique (2019-12)
    This paper presents an empirical analysis of the long-run reduction in diesel fuel consumption driven by wind energy utilization in remote Alaska electrical grids. Models control for other fuel consumption determinants including customer base and transmission and distribution system efficiency. Fourteen rural communities that integrated wind energy into their diesel powered electrical grids are analyzed within a dynamic panel framework using monthly utility data spanning sixteen years, from 2001 to 2017. An auto-regressive distributed lag approach is taken to address cointegration and presence of a unit root in the data. Long-run parameters are estimated for the full dataset as well as for four sub-samples to compare impacts on microgrids with high and low average renewable utilization and with large and small customer bases. Results indicate that fuel consumption is reduced by an estimated 68 gallons on average for each one percent increase in wind energy penetration on the electricity grid. Beyond 30% average penetration, however, additional wind energy generation leads to increased fuel consumption as turbine curtailment methods must be employed to maintain grid stability, indicating that this is a fuel-offset constraint point in low and medium penetration wind-diesel hybrid systems. High penetration-capable wind-diesel systems with energy storage capabilities may allow utilities to increase utilization rates beyond this threshold to capture additional fuel savings and carbon emissions offset.
  • McNeil River State Game Sanctuary permit lottery applicant preferences and marginal willingness to pay for permit application: a best-worst discrete choice experiment

    Young, Taylor B.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Greenberg, Joshua (2019-08)
    This study applies data from a web-based survey administered to 2016-2018 McNeil River State Game Sanctuary permit lottery applicants to examine preferences and marginal willingness-to-pay (WTP) for an application contingent upon marginal interval increases among specific attributes of a bear viewing experience. A best-worst discrete choice experiment (BWDCE) was used to elicit respondent data, which consisted of eight individual choice tasks using a Balanced Incomplete Block Design (BIBD) in Sawtooth Software. Each choice task was comprised of five attributes: permit application price, odds of winning a permit, number of bears viewed daily during visit to the Sanctuary, cubs being present, and most common type of bear feeding activity viewed while at the Sanctuary. Each attribute was decomposed into two to four varying levels across choice tasks, depending on the attribute in question. The findings suggest that lottery permit applicants have a significant desire to view bears fishing for salmon, and to see cubs. These results imply a clear desire of applicants to visit the Sanctuary in high season. As expected, respondents also stand to obtain a positive effect on personal utility of increased odds of winning a permit, and to a lesser extent, view a larger number of bears while at the Sanctuary, and therefore have a positive mWTP to both of these characteristics as well. The price coefficient in both the preference parameter utility model and the mWTP model is negative, as expected, but not large in magnitude which may be attributed to the sample being wealthier than average and/or the forgone permit application price is viewed as a wildlife conservation donation. The main model used for analysis is the mixed (random parameters) logit (MXL), and the preference parameters estimated are then used to estimate mWTP in WTP-space using Stata. Results using a multinomial logit (MNL) and conditional logit (CL) are also presented for comparison and affirmation that MXL is better suited for the data in order to allow for preference heterogeneity and random parameters, rather than fixed parameters.
  • Alaska Native corporations, the long run

    Snigaroff, Robert G.; Baek, Jungho; Little, Joseph; Koskey, Michael; Williams, Maria; Zhou, Thomas (2019-08)
    Alaska Native Corporations as formed by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) have existed for almost fifty years. As with all businesses, their results are mixed. Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) are unique. After a brief overview of ANCs' results, I study several issues that pertain to them in a manuscript format with several chapters. Business stability and longevity are crucial for ANCs, and I discuss that, given a common mission of ANCs for cultural continuation. While most of the following is a positive analysis, I also make a normative strategy argument: ANCs should make larger portions of their economic activity in the form of endowment models. A separate matter is many ANCs have portfolios of diversified operating businesses. I review other investors' results in private equity investments opportunities. The average investor has done fairly poorly. This provides a cautionary warning to the pursuit of such strategies for ANCs and other institutional investors. Another business model alternative for ANCs are endowment models with marketable securities, hence, I study stock return characteristics. Interestingly, the way stocks can be broken out into their core return components allows study of an ANC issue. Alaska Native shareholders have made a trade-off between cultural continuation and higher monetary value realization if they did sell their shares. Of the approximately one hundred fifty ANCs, none has done so. Marketable security returns partly consist of a liquidity component. That has applicability to ANCs as they have willingly ceded the liquidity value of their shares for their goal of cultural continuation.
  • The effect of wildfires, spruce bark beetles, and prescribed burns on residential property values in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

    Reinker, Paul C.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Greenberg, Joshua (2019-08)
    This study estimates the effect that forest fires, spruce bark beetle outbreaks, and controlled burns performed by fire management agencies have on nearby residential property values. Using the hedonic pricing framework, and ten years of house sales from south-central Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, this study found little evidence that wildfires and spruce beetle outbreaks have a significant effect on the final sale price of surrounding homes, but found that the controlled burns contribute to a decrease in surrounding home values. As Alaska's climate becomes warmer and drier, these disturbances threaten to increase in frequency and severity. Understanding how homeowners perceive fire risk and forest damage is increasingly important to fire management policy, as the behavior of residents can help limit both the cost from and incidence of wildfires. The study's findings suggest that homeowners are either insulated from, or indifferent to fire risk, but targeted burns of high-risk areas by fire managers could increase awareness and sensitivity to fire risk.
  • Alaska's ice roads and investment decision in drilling: an empirical analysis

    Azmi Wendler, Sarah; Baek, Jungho; Reynolds, Douglas B.; Herrmann, Mark (2019-08)
    This thesis applies Autoregressive Distributed Lag modeling techniques to estimate the effects of ice road season lengths on exploration activities in Alaska within the North Slope. This analysis uses data on winter off-road travel from 2001-2018 in monthly intervals against exploration wells spudded. It is found that while ice roads do not affect overall drilling activities in the North Slope, the lengths of the season plays significant part in exploration of new fields. While this subject has become a popular subject due to variations in the ice road season, no similar statistical analysis has been conducted to date. Oil prices, production and Alaska's oil policy were also found to be important variables in characterizing exploration activity.
  • Tourism development and public policy: perceptions of the Chuukese community

    Perez, Gerald San Agustin; Baek, Jungho; Schumann, Fred; Caroll, Jennifer; Walter, Ansito (2019-05)
    Tourism is a widely used tool for economic development in small insular communities. This mixed methods study examines factors that influence residents' perceptions toward tourism development in Chuuk and the relevance of "complexity theory" in describing the island's stage of development. Empirical evidence and data triangulation corroborate general support for tourism development and sensitivity to cultural impacts, economic impacts, social impacts, environmental impacts, local control and sustainability. Economic and cultural impacts were the strongest factors influencing perceptions and are most significant to sustainable development and destination development. This reflects residents' beliefs that the island will benefit from tourism because of perceived improvements in the economy, infrastructure, tourist facilities and expanded social amenities. It also reflects residents' expectations for long term planning, managed growth, and laws to protect the environment. Some differences and similarities are noted between sampled residents living in Chuuk and Guam. This study is the first of its kind in an isolated region lacking scholarship literature on tourism. As such, basic information gathered is a wellspring, for further research into issues of social justice using a more sequential transformative framework.
  • Determinants of anglers willingness to pay to support the Recreational Quota Entity program

    Mitchell, McKenzie; Little, Joseph; Criddle, Keith; Greenberg, Joshua; Hermann, Mark (2019-05)
    This study applies data from a web-based survey administered to Alaska sport fish license holders in 2017 to examine the newly introduced Recreational Quota Entity (RQE) program in Alaska's guided halibut sport fishery and the possibility of increasing halibut available to sport anglers by funding this program through a state-endorsed halibut stamp. Two valuation questions were randomized amongst the survey sample. The questions were designed to elicit willingness to pay (WTP) for a halibut stamp in support of the RQE program under (1) status quo halibut fishing regulations (2) more relaxed charter halibut fishing regulations made possible through revenues from halibut stamp sales. The need for two valuation questions is in response to the many factors that would ultimately determine the degree to which charter fishing regulations could be relaxed and the time needed for regulatory change made possible through revenues from halibut stamp sales. The findings indicate that non-resident anglers and resident anglers have a very similar WTP for a state-endorsed halibut stamp and that anglers are willing to pay for a halibut stamp despite having little or no history of participation in the halibut fishery. The pairwise comparison among mean WTP estimates from both valuation questions indicates that differences in anglers' WTP are inconsequential. Findings suggest that the WTP for a state-endorsed halibut stamp reflects an interest in preserving access to the fishery or the value of reserving an option to participate in the halibut fishery. Respondent education level and employment status were found to be statistically significant determinants of anglers' willingness to pay for a state-endorsed halibut stamp to support the RQE program.
  • An exploration of own and cross-price elasticity of demand for residential heating in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

    Graham, Noelle J.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Kennedy, Camilla (2019-05)
    The purpose of this study is to utilize community level household energy consumption data to determine the short-run own- and cross-price elasticity of heating oil and wood using the proportionally calibrated almost idea demand system model. Elasticity values can identify how residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough will potentially alter home heating practices in response to a change in home heating oil price. Results indicate that values for own-price elasticity for oil is -0.259, with a 95% confidence interval of [-0.272, -0.246]. Based on predicted values a 1% increase in the price of heating oil is estimated to result in a reduction of 0.259% in the quantity of residential heating oil consumed by the average household. Cross-price elasticity estimates of wood with respect to a change in the price of oil is 0.198 with a 95% confidence interval of [0.171, 0.234]. Based on predicted values, a 1% increase in the price of oil is predicted to increase wood consumption by 0.198%. In addition, this study utilized a Monte Carlo Simulation with estimated elasticity parameters to predict the change in household level energy consumption of wood and heating oil given an increase in heating oil prices. Approximately 71% of households are predicted to decrease overall energy consumption. 83.5% of households are predicted to decrease oil consumption, and 57.3% of houses are predicted to increase wood consumption. Through evaluating household's energy consumption decisions in the face of changing prices, these results can inform effective air quality policies.
  • The role of property rights in bycatch reduction: evidence from the British Columbia groundfish fishery

    Edinger, Tonya; Little, Joe; Goering, Douglas; Baek, Jungho (2014)
    The following analysis seeks to contribute to the literature by examining the effectiveness of the individual vessel bycatch quota (IVBQ) system as an incentive structure for the mitigation of halibut bycatch in the British Columbia Groundfish fishery. Through the use of an OLS regression technique, this empirical analysis intends to quantify the importance and overall effectiveness of the vessel bycatch quota incentive system in respect to mitigating bycatch. The research utilizes time series fisheries data from 1962-2012, as provided by The International Pacific Halibut Commission and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The research indicates that the IVBQ system has proven to be highly effective, confirming the significance of private property rights as a tool for the reduction of bycatch within British Columbia. Policy makers may utilize the information provided in this paper to design more feasible and effective policy options to promote the preservation of ecological balance in the management of marine resources.
  • Institutional structure and the optimal level of lying

    Hiser, Rodney F.; Logan, Robert R. (1999)
    This study is an interdisciplinary comparative analysis of two institutional structures and their relation to lying. The author examines institutional structure through an institutional continuum with contrasting ideal-types at opposing ends. These ideal-types are the "private property order" and the "bureau." The author models lying as a benefit-cost analysis and examines lying through a two-person model of society called the "information relation." Using the information relation, he shows the problem of lying is an agency problem between the informer and the informee. In two separate analyses, the author evaluates the ideal-types' tendencies to either allow or hinder lying. In the first analysis, the author identifies seven protection-from-lying strategies and compares their necessary requirements to the institutional constraints of the ideal types. In the second analysis, the author examines six social phenomena, within the institutional context of each ideal type, that affect people's benefit-cost ratio of lying. The author concludes that there exists a positive correlation between the degree of central planning and the optimal level of lying, as seen from the point of view of each individual in society. The author argues that a movement on the continuum away from the private property order toward the bureau tends to (1) breakdown community relations, (2) provide incentive for society members to adopt value relativism, (3) change the nature of competition, (4) lower society's overall material standard of living, and (5) create a social environment of mutual self-deception. The author sees important implications in this study for the economics of information, theories of government regulation, and the sociology of science.
  • Examining the advocacy coalition framework for insight into shale gas development in US and UK political systems

    Wolfley, Kathryn (2014-12)
    The project considers the Advocacy Coalition Framework from the discipline of policymaking which is used to examine contentious and politically complex policy issues, particularly in energy and environmental development and planning. Shale gas development in the United States has been noted for its dramatic economic and political effects, leading some countries to pursue development of their own shale resources. The United Kingdom's tentative steps into the industry have engendered efforts to understand American experiences and conceptualize how their own country may or may not accommodate such development. The project attempts to highlight the current or potential issues or benefits entering the discourse and extrapolate insights from the Advocacy Coalition Framework to enhance and inform shale gas development as a social issue in addition to existing as an economic or technological disruption. Thoughts on attitudes between disciplines tangent to shale gas development are also expressed.
  • Changes in the value of the Southeast Alaska salmon purse seine limited entry permits following two permit buy back programs

    Shriver, Jennifer Christine (2014-12)
    The Southeast Alaska salmon purse seine fishery (S01A) is an Alaska state waters limited entry fishery. When initially limited by the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission in 1975, 419 permanent permits were issued. As salmon prices dropped in the late 1990s, current and expected future revenues also dropped leading to a decline in the market value of permit. This led permitees to look at different ways to improve their economic position. Reduction of permit numbers through the buyback and permanent retirement of some permits emerged as a preferred option for the S01A fishery; it was motivated as the best means to improve economic conditions in the fishery. After a very long road of regulatory changes at the state and federal level, 35 permits were bought and retired in 2008 using funds provided under a federal grant. A second buyback in 2012, based on a federally backed fishery reduction loan led to the retirement of 65 additional permits. Basic economic principles suggest that resulting decrease in supply of limited entry permits would lead to an increase in the market value of remaining permits. An important policy question is: whether the increased value to permitees is sufficient to offset the cost to taxpayers of financing the buyback. However, conducting that cost-benefit assessment is made difficult because of unrelated but concomitant changes in exvessel prices and catch volumes. During the same time that permits were being removed through the buyback, the exvessel value of salmon increased as did the volume of Southeast Alaska salmon harvests, per-vessel average exvessel gross earnings, and the market value of S01A permits. Econometric analyses based on Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) time series data on S01A permit values, estimated gross earnings, and salmon prices indicate that the buybacks led to statistically significant increases in the asset value of S01A LEPs. In light of the program's stated goals, the buyback was a qualified success in increasing the asset value of S01A permits and removing latent fishing capacity from returning to the fishery as exvessel prices increased. The buyback did not change the fundamental conditions that precondition the Alaska salmon LEP program to systematic vulnerabilities inherent in a management system that does not counter the pernicious race for fish motivations of participants.
  • A comprehensive bycatch market: investigating pricing mechanisms for ecosystem accountability

    O'Brien, Erik; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Goering, Greg (2015-05)
    This report takes an ecosystem approach to managing targeted and non-targeted species in the Bering Sea Aleutian Island commercial fisheries. The current regulatory environment sets biological harvest limits across fish stock's entire range, although the individual components of managing fisheries within a stock may lead to economic inefficiencies and difficulties in accounting for social costs due to blunt incentives. The research presented here outlines a model for scenario analysis and pricing mechanisms at each level of harvest across a species range. Due to the modeled indifference of harvesting in targeted or non-targeted fisheries, designations are made for degrees of ownership rights and monetary transfers to balance these rights in the presence of non-target bycatch. This report argues that efficiency gains can be made by managing behavior through pricing incentives at the margin.
  • Impact of specific CSR activities, executive & board diversity on equity valuations

    Williams, David J.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Greenberg, Joshua (2018-05)
    The objective of this study is to identify the impact of specific corporate social responsibility behaviors on equity prices. This study uses fixed effect parametric and nonparametric regressions to quantify the effect of specific corporate social responsibility activities on the equity price multiples of a number of US firms from 1999 to 2009. The results of these empirical models consistently show that CEO diversity, corporate charitable giving, and work-life balance benefit plans, are associated with lower equity price multiples compared against similar firms that lack these characteristics. Additionally, board diversity and support of the LBGTQ community is associated with a positive impact on equity price multiples. This study provides evidence that individual corporate social responsibility activities can have drastic impacts on equity prices, leading the way for future research testing whether the magnitudes of these impacts are rational and in-line with their expected impact on financial performance and risk, or a deviation from the efficient market hypothesis.
  • Market impacts and global implications of U.S. shale development and hydraulic fracturing: an economic, engineering, and environmental perspective

    Umweke, Maduabuchi Pascal; Baek, Jungho; Patil, Shirish; Perkins, Robert; Reynolds, Douglas (2018-05)
    The United States oil industry is experiencing a revolution because of significant oil production from tight oil plays since the mid-2000s. Advancements in horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing are powering this new chapter in oil development. Increased oil production has brought billions of dollars of new revenue to oil companies involved in tight oil exploration and production, new jobs in the oil industry, and more tax revenue to oil regions around the U.S. However, tight oil resources do not only exist in the U.S. An understanding of the U.S. tight oil development experience could bring value to stakeholders within and outside the United States, and provide lessons and templates applicable in other tight oil regions. This research examines the U.S. tight oil experience and draws lessons for aspiring tight oil regions on the engineering, economic, and environmental fronts. On the economic front, I have examined an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model on key oil industry macroeconomic data (West Texas Intermediate oil price, tight oil production, and rig count) from 2007 through 2016, and the impact of oil price on tight oil development for the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, and Permian tight oil plays. The results show that oil companies in different plays react differently to oil price signals and do so in relation to oil field development characteristics. In addition, oil production and drilling intensity in the Eagle Ford play is found to be most responsive to oil price increases than the Permian, Bakken, or Niobrara oil plays. The Permian play was most resilient during the 2014 through 2016 oil price plunge. Oil production does not fall in response to a decrease in oil price, equally as it rises in response to oil price increase. Tight oil operators are quicker in bringing drilling rigs to service as prices rise than they take them away in response to falling oil prices, but do reduce drilling significantly in response to an oil price plunge. These results have significant ramifications for operators and assets in the respective oil plays or future plays with similar development characteristics. On the engineering front, I used petroleum engineering oil production forecasting Decline Curve Analysis techniques, the Drillinginfo Software, and historical development data of U.S. plays, to conduct oil production forecast for seven U.S. tight oil plays. Forecast results are shown to be comparable to forecasts by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Building on previous EIA geologic studies on non-U.S. tight oil plays, and by selecting best analogues from within U.S. tight oil plays, I have completed an economic assessment and uncertainty analysis for 10 non-U.S. tight plays using a simple fiscal tax regime. The results indicate that the Eagle Ford play in Mexico, the Vaca Muerta play in Argentina, and the Qingshankou play in China rank highest among the plays studied. Of oil price, royalty rate, discount rate, well cost, extraction tax, and recovery factor parameters evaluated, results indicate that oil price and well cost are among the biggest drivers of profitability in these plays. On the environmental front, I conducted case studies on the busiest U.S. tight oil plays (Bakken and Eagle Ford) and examined the impact of tight oil development on the environment. Local solutions to environmental challenges alongside environmental regulations are discussed and presented as possible templates for other aspiring plays. Since securing freshwater sources alongside wastewater management emerge as major issues in tight oil development, a cost comparison is conducted for reused water disposal versus one-use water disposal options, for a hypothetical development. Results indicate that on a cost-per-well basis, the reduction in water disposal volume from subsurface frack flowback retention improves water reuse economics; the water reuse option is preferable to one-use water disposal for U.S. oil plays. This result points to potential cost savings for reused water disposal in regions such as the Bakken with few disposal wells.
  • Up in smoke: exploring the relationship between forest firefighting and subsistence harvest

    Rodrigues, Alyssa V. S.; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Trainor, Sarah; Brinkman, Todd J. (2018-05)
    Wildland firefighting in Alaska is changing due to the impact of climate change on the boreal forest. Changes to the wildland firefighting regime could have significant impacts on community participation during fall subsistence hunting and, consequentially, food security levels. Many rural Alaska communities have mixed cash-subsistence economies in which people have to balance their time between earning an income and harvesting subsistence foods. Cash income is necessary to pay for things such as housing, electricity, gasoline, gun, ammunition, and other capital necessary to engage in subsistence. This dissertation aims to better understand the current relationship between Type 2, or hand crew, wildland firefighting and subsistence, primarily fall subsistence hunting, through several methods. Surveys and interviews were conducted with Type 2 wildland firefighters followed by policy recommendations. Econometric modeling of the wildfire attributes, community attributes, and firefighting wages and dispatches was conducted. Lastly, a food production simulation was conducted. Utilizing these various methods gives a well-rounded understanding of the relationship between firefighting and subsistence. Firefighting wages currently contribute to subsistence harvest productivity. As climate change lengthens the fire season, rural Type 2 fire crews will continue to participate in firefighting and fall subsistence hunting. Only under the most extreme estimates of future wildland fires does time spent fighting fire reduce time spent on subsistence fall hunting by much so that rural communities are unable to meet their subsistence needs.
  • Analysis of energy consumption on the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis in the United States: does renewable energy play a role?

    Ohnesorge, Michelle; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Greenberg, Joshua (2018-05)
    Using CO₂ emissions as a representation of environmental degradation an empirical econometric analysis is conducted to see if there is evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve in the United States and if renewable energy consumption plays a significant role in CO₂ emission mitigation. The renewable energy consumption variable was broken down further to isolate geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, solar, and wind energy consumption and explore their role in the analysis. An Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag approach to cointegration with Pooled Mean Groups and Mean Groups estimations was used on U.S. state (including District of Columbia) specific data from 1987 to 2015 to calculate the long and short run results that would support an Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. The panel of states was divided into low, medium, and high GDP brackets as disaggregate models and those were examined along with a model of the entire United States. Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve for the United States could not be established in the aggregate model, however it was found that renewable energy consumption did have a negative coefficient, which indicates CO₂ emission mitigation through renewable energy consumption. Out of the individual renewable energy consumption variables tested, only wind energy consumption was found to be statistically significant while the model also exhibited evidence to support an Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis in this aggregate model. Looking at the different GDP state brackets, low GDP states were the only bracket that yielded evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve in the disaggregate models. For estimations with the low GDP states bracket looking at the individual renewable energy consumption variables, hydroelectric, biomass, solar, and wind energy consumption variables were statistically significant as well. The medium GDP bracket states aggregate model did not yield conclusive results, stemming from the lack of slope in the GDP variable for this model. Out of the individual renewable energy consumption variables tested in the subset, biomass was the only energy consumption to be statistically significant while the model exhibited evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve. The high GDP bracket aggregate model did not yield results showing evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve, while the individual renewable energy consumption variable subset models geothermal and wind energy consumption were statistically significant within models showing evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve. Breaking out these separate renewable energy consumption variables in an Environmental Kuznets Curve analysis can provide empirical support for policy and investment in specific renewable energy technology.
  • Hunters like skewness, not risk: evidence of gambling behaviors in the Alaska hunting permit lottery

    Lane, Brock; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Baek, Jungho (2018-05)
    In Alaska, hunting permits are distributed by traditional lottery. The absence of a preference point system means that applicants have little invested in their applications, and there are a variety of fallback hunting opportunities. Not unlike a jackpot-style state lottery, the cost to play is low relative to the potential prize winnings. These factors may cause risk-averse or risk-neutral individuals to exhibit a preference for positive skewness in their bets. Analysis in this paper is focused on four prevalent game species: moose, dall sheep, mountain goat, and bison. Pooled Ordinary Least Squares regression models were constructed to predict permit application levels as a function of various hunt characteristics, qualities, and restrictions. Permit descriptions are provided to applicants in a published document called the drawing supplement, which is the primary source of data for this study. Additional hunter-reported data is obtained from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website. A comparison of calculated permit values and private ranch hunting opportunities validates many of the observations drawn from the models. Permit values are also used to fit a cubic model of bettor utility. Even when awarded prizes are not monetary, applicants exhibit a preference for positive skewness and aversion from risk that is typically associated with gambling.

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