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  • Alaska's Fiscal & Economic Outlook

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-04-16)
  • What do we know about the effects of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend?

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-05-20)
    The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) has been distributed to Alaska residents for 37 years, providing each resident an equal share of a yearly government appropriation based on the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund. While support for the program is high, work assessing the PFD’s influence on the lives of Alaskans is limited. Recently, a number of researchers have analyzed the causal effect of the PFD on a variety of socio-economic outcomes including employment, consumption, income inequality, health, and crime. This paper summarizes this empirical literature and highlights future areas of research.
  • Economic Impacts of the Vetoes on the Alaska Economy

    Guettabi, Mouhcine; Klouda, Nolan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-07-08)
    On June 28, 2019 Governor Mike Dunleavy announced line-item vetoes totaling $409 million from the State of Alaska budget for Fiscal Year 2020. These vetoes include significant cuts to the University of Alaska, Medicaid, payments to local governments, public assistance programs, state personnel headcounts, and numerous other categories. The full consequences of these cuts on the state economy, fiscal health, population, and policy outcomes will take years to develop. In this paper, we provide the short term impacts of the cuts, how they interact with the current state of the economy, and a descriptive outlook of the some of the future effects. We find the cuts will result in more than 4,000 jobs lost in the short run and will therefore return the Alaska economy into recession. While the short term losses represent a considerable negative shock to the economy, the consequences of these cuts on long term development could be even more pronounced.
  • What are the economic impacts of the vetoes?

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-07-08)
  • Alaska High School Graduation Rate Trends

    Tran, Trang; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019-08-05)
    This paper examines trends in Alaska public high school graduation rates from academic year 2010-11 to 2015-16 and explores differences across demographic groups. We focus specifically on students from public neighborhood high schools. These are publicly-funded schools run by district or Regional Educational Attendance Area school boards serving all residents within school attendance boundaries. These schools represent about 88% of Alaska’s high school students.
  • Indigenous social and economic adaptations in northern Alaska as measures of resilience

    Martin, Stephanie (Resilience Alliance, 2014-12-01)
    I explored one aspect of social-ecological change in the context of an Alaskan human-Rangifer system, with the goal of understanding household adaptive responses to perturbations when there are multiple forces of change at play. I focused on households as one element of social resilience. Resilience is in the context of transition theory, in which communities are continually in a process of change, and perturbations are key points in the transition process. This case study of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, USA, contributes to the understanding of cultural continuity and household resilience in times of rapid change by using household survey data from 1978 to 2003 to understand how households adapted to changes in the cash economy that came with oil development at the same time as a crash in the caribou population and state-imposed limits on caribou harvests. The research illustrates that households are resilient in the way they capture opportunities and create a new system so that elements of the old remain while parts change.
  • Economic Risks to Alaska Communities from Ocean Acidification

    Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-12-01)
  • Resource Revenues and Fiscal Sustainability: Lessons of the Alaska Disconnect

    Knapp, Gunnar (International Economic Development Council, 2014-12-01)
    In 1968, the Prudhoe Bay oil field was discovered on Alaska’s North Slope – the largest oil field ever discovered in North America. That discovery led to an economic and fiscal transformation of the young state of Alaska. A 1969 sale of Prudhoe Bay leases brought the state $900 million in one day ($4.9 billion in 2014 dollars) – six times the state’s budget that year of $115 million (Ragsdale, 2008). After the completion of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, oil began flowing from the North Slope – bringing the state very large annual oil revenues. Cumulatively, between 1978 and 2014 the state earned $111 billion in unrestricted general fund oil revenues ($164 billion expressed in 2014 dollars). 1, 2 (See Table 1.) It has not been a smooth ride. Annual state oil revenues have varied widely since North Slope production began, particularly because of changes in oil prices, but also because of changes in oil production, costs of production, and oil tax laws (Figure 1). Soaring oil revenues in the early 1980s were followed by 20 years of decline, including a very sharp drop in 1987 which contributed to a severe recession in Alaska. Rising prices brought soaring revenues again from 2005 to 2012 – followed by another very sharp drop since 2012, with drastically lower oil revenues projected for FY 2015 and FY 2016.
  • The Determinants of Small Business Success in Alaska: A Focus on the Creative Class

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (International Economic Development Council, 2014-12-01)
    Although the contribution of small businesses and entrepreneurship to regional communities and the economy at large is widely supported in the literature, there does not seem to be a universally accepted definition for small businesses and entrepreneurship. Without an agreed upon definition, it is challenging for governments and policy makers to address the needs, concerns, and issues of these firms. It also makes it difficult to understand the link between small businesses and economic growth.
  • Mining and Sustainable Communities: A Case Study of the Red Dog Mine

    Loeffler, Bob (International Economic Development Council, 2014-12-01)
    Politicians and planners work to attract economic development because of the desire to provide jobs and income for residents, and to find tax revenue to fund government services. Their focus is usually statewide: jobs, income, and taxes for Alaskans. This article is about the impact of one remote development project on nearby, Native communities. It is about the community effects of the Red Dog Lead and Zinc Mine in northwest Alaska. 2014 was the 25th anniversary for the mine, which began operation in 1989. This case study evaluates the mine’s effects on the communities after 25 years of operation. It begins with an overview of the communities and the mine. It evaluates the mine’s effects on these communities in four ways: 1) jobs and income, 2) governance, 3) education, and 4) subsistence. This case study provides lessons for development in other rural communities
  • Public Health Research in Alaska: Applying Quality Research and Evaluation to Alaska's Public Health Challenges

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-01-01)
  • What role can regional economics plan in addressing health questions?

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-01-01)
  • What does the future hold for Alaska: Fiscal Planning in the face of uncertainty

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-02-05)
  • Measuring and Correcting Response Heaping Arising From the Use of Prototypes

    Schmidt, Jennifer; Beaman, Jay; Vaske, Jerry; Huan, Tzung-Cheng (Taylor and Francis, 2015-04-01)
    Imprecision in respondent recall can cause response heaping in frequency data for particular values (e.g., 5, 10, 15). In human dimensions research, heaping can occur for variables such as days of participation (e.g., hunting, fishing), animals/fish harvested, or money spent on licenses. Distributions with heaps can bias population estimates because the means and totals can be inflated or deflated. Because bias can result in poor management decisions, determining if the bias is large enough to matter is important. This note introduces the logic and flow of a deheaping program that estimates bias in means and totals when people use approximate responses (i.e., prototypes). The program can make estimates even when spikes occur due to bag limits. The program is available online, and smooths heaps at multiples of 5 (numbers ending in 5 and 0) and 7 (e.g., 7, 14, 21), and produces standard deviations in estimates.
  • Policy Implications of Freestanding Emergency Departments

    Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
    Policymakers have a responsibility to look at both the short- and long-term implications of their decisions. The state’s current fiscal situation, coupled with rising health-care costs makes “budget neutrality” highly desirable in decision-making. In spite of efforts to bend the cost curve, health expenditures have grown inexorably in Alaska. As of 2009 our health expenditures per capita were the second highest in the nation. This means that the state spends a larger portion of its budget on health costs, employers allocate more of employees’ compensation to health premiums, and households spend more of their disposable income on out-of- pocket costs, premiums, and co-pays. The evidence we provide in this analysis consistently shows that freestanding emergency departments charge higher prices for services that are available for considerably less in traditional settings. Allowing freestanding emergency departments to enter the Alaska market goes against the many efforts being undertaken to contain health-care costs. Markets forces explain a significant portion of the high health-care prices charged in Alaska, but in this case the state has an opportunity to use its regulatory authority to help prevent even higher prices in the future. Putting costs aside, in considering emergency services one needs to rationalize the hospital and clinical capacity across a region and the needs of the population. In the Alaska health-care system there are problems with coordinating the delivery of care. Freestanding emergency departments pose the risk of exacerbating that lack of coordination, if people use them in lieu of seeing their primary physicians—which can disrupt the continuum of care and potentially hurt outcomes for patients.
  • Unintended Consequences of a Ban on Illegal Fishing Gear: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Tanzania

    MacColl, Spencer; Onyango, Paul; Stopnitzky, Yaniv; Reimer, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
  • Benefits and Costs to Rural Alaska Households from a Carbon Fee and Dividend Program - Final Report

    Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-08-01)
    This paper analyzes the benefits and costs of a carbon fee‐and‐dividend (CFD) policy to individual rural Alaska households. The three study area regions are the Bethel Census Area, the Kusilvak Census Area, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. These three regions have the state’s highest fuel prices and very cold climates. The CFD policy consists of two elements.  The first is a fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2 beginning in 2016 and increasing by $10 per ton in each subsequent year. The second is the complete return of all fees to households in the form of dividends, which are estimated to equal $300 for each adult plus $150 for each child (up to two). The annual dividends would increase in future years commensurate with the nationwide total amount of fees. Baseline conditions.  The study area has a total population of about 32,000 people, many of whom live in large households with low cash income. Fuel prices averaged $6.62 per gallon in January 2015.
  • 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.
  • Alaska 1332 Waiver- Economic Analysis

    Bibler, Andrew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
    The four guardrails that a successful 1332 waiver must meet are as follows: 1. Coverage - There must be at least a comparable number of individuals with coverage under the waiver as would have had coverage without the waiver. 2. Affordability – The waiver should not result in an increase in out-of-pocket spending required of residents to obtain coverage, relative to income. 3. Comprehensiveness – The waiver should not decrease the number of individuals with coverage that meets the essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark. 4. Deficit Neutrality – The waiver should not have any negative impact on the federal deficit. In this report, the first three guardrails are briefly discussed to reaffirm that the actuarial analysis conducted by Oliver Wyman demonstrates that the proposed waiver meets them. The actuarial report from Oliver Wyman projects that the proposed waiver will increase the number of individuals taking up insurance in the individual market, lower average premiums, and have no impact on the comprehensiveness of coverage. The numbers reported in the actuarial analysis are then used to help evaluate the impact that the proposed waiver will have on the federal budget. There are at least four ways in which the waiver will have an important impact on the federal budget, which are summarized in Table 1. Table 1: Impact of Proposed Waiver on Budget Direction of Effect APTC Savings + Individual Shared Responsibility Payments - Health Insurance Providers Fee - Federal Exchange User Fees - Overall Impact on Budget + The first and most important impact of the waiver is that it will lead to a reduction in premiums. The reduction in premiums reduces the amount of Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) that individuals will be eligible for and generates savings of $50 - $100 million per year from 2018 through 2026. There are also three routes through which the waiver will negatively impact the budget by decreasing revenue: individual shared responsibility payments, health insurance providers fees, and federal exchange user fees. Because the waiver will lead to more individuals taking up insurance in the individual market, fewer individuals will owe 2 Attachment 4 Alaska 1332 Waiver - Economic Analysis December 23, 2016 the individual penalty for not having health insurance. The health insurance providers fee depends on the amount of premiums aggregated to the national level. Because the waiver depresses premiums in the Alaska individual insurance market, it will have a secondary negative effect on the total amount collected through the providers fee for years 2019 through 2026. Lower premiums also reduce the amount collected in federal exchange user fees, a 3.5% tax imposed on premiums sold through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace. The aggregate impact on the budget is positive, because the APTC savings outweigh the combined negative impact of the other three channels. Table 2 summarizes the aggregate impact of the four components on the federal budget. Year Final Savings 2016 $0 2017 $0 2018 $48,973,684 2019 $52,260,336 2020 $56,108,411 2021 $61,486,732 2022 $65,612,013 2023 $72,213,851 2024 $77,717,467 2025 $84,814,665 2026 $91,785,506 Table 2: Estimated Savings from Waiver (Before Pass-Through Funding) The overall impact through these four components is about $49 million in savings in 2018. Savings increase in every year thereafter, reaching nearly $92 million in 2026. The savings listed in Table 2 are before the granting of any pass-through funding, so they suggest that as long as pass-through funding is less than or equal to these figures, the proposed waiver will meet the federal deficit neutrality requirement.
  • Measuring Community Adaptive and Transformative Capacity in the Arctic Context

    Berman, Matthew; Kofinas, Gary; BurnSilver, Shauna (Springer International Publishing Inc., 2016-12-01)
    Adaptive capacity (AC) plays a prominent role in reducing community vulnerability, an essential goal for achieving sustainability. The related concept, transformative capacity (TC), describes a set of tools from the resilience paradigm for making more fundamental system changes. While the literature appears to agree generally on the meaning of AC and TC, operational definitions vary widely in empirical applications. We address measurement of AC and TC in empirical studies of community vulnerability and resilience, with special attention to the problems of arctic communities. We discuss how some challenges follow from ambiguities in the broader vulnerability model within which AC is embedded. Other issues are more technical, such as a confounding of stocks (capacity) with flows (time-specific inputs or outcomes). We view AC and TC as forms of capital, as distinct from flows (i.e., ecosystem services, well-being), and propose a set of sequential steps for measuring the contribution of AC and TC assets to reducing vulnerability. We demonstrate the conceptual application in a comparative analysis of AC in two arctic Alaska communities responding to an increase in the price of fuel. The comparative case study illustrates some key empirical challenges in measuring AC for small arctic communities.

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