• Alaska Economic Forecast and the Permanent Fund

      Fried, Niel; Goldsmith, Scott; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1/9/2019)
    • One Health Economics to confront disease threats

      Berry, Kevin (Oxford University Press, 10/16/2017)
      Global economic impacts of epidemics suggest high return on investment in prevention and One Health capacity. However, such investments remain limited, contributing to persistent endemic diseases and vulnerability to emerging ones. An interdisciplinary workshop explored methods for country-level analysis of added value of One Health approaches to disease control. Key recommendations include: 1. systems thinking to identify risks and mitigation options for decision-making under uncertainty; 2. multisectoral economic impact assessment to identify wider relevance and possible resource-sharing, and 3. consistent integration of environmental considerations. Economic analysis offers a congruent measure of value complementing diverse impact metrics among sectors and contexts.
    • Invasive Species Management Programs in Alaska: A Survey of Statewide Expenditures, 2007 - 11

      Schwoerer, Tobias; Federer, Rebekka; Ferren, Howard II (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 11/1/2012)
    • In-State Gas Demand Study

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01-01)
    • 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
    • Cultural Continuity and Communities and Well-Being

      Martin, Stephanie (Rural Development Institute, Brandon University., 2012)
      This paper describes a household survey of Inuit in northern Alaska and how the survey data were used to better understand the relative importance of jobs, wild food harvesting, and social ties for life satisfaction. It emphasizes the importance of non-material measures for life satisfaction. It builds on other research showing the importance of harvesting wild food and the persistence of a mixed economy—one that combines cash income and wild food harvests. An empirical model estimates the relationship between people's choices to work, and/or hunt and fish, and individual satisfaction with life. The model includes economic and non-economic measures of well-being as well as community characteristics and shows that what matters most for satisfaction are family ties, social support and opportunities to do things with other people. Jobs, income, housing, and modern amenities—are less important among arctic Inuit. This research addresses the purpose for the original survey project—to give a more realistic picture of life in the Arctic by showing why people who live in remote, isolated, communities, with low incomes, and substandard housing are very satisfied with their lives. It also contributes to public policy in remote regions and efforts to understand how people are adapting in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Beyond Infrastructure: Broadband for Development in Remote and Indigenous Regions

      Hudson, Heather E. (Rural Development Institute, Brandon University., 2013)
      Recent telecommunications stimulus projects in the U.S. and Canada were intended to increase availability of broadband through funding infrastructure investments, largely in rural and remote regions. However, true access involves more than availability; it also includes affordability and adoption. This paper presents a framework for analyzing broadband adoption that takes into consideration geographical, economic and cultural environments in indigenous communities. It includes an overview of potential social and economic impacts of broadband in remote areas, using examples from the Alaska study and the Canadian North. It then reports on results of an evaluation of Internet use and potential adoption of broadband in remote indigenous communities of southwest Alaska. Finally, the paper provides a comparative analysis of U.S. and Canadian policies intended to achieve affordable access to broadband for rural users and sustainable business models for rural broadband providers.
    • Suicide Among Young Alaska Native Men: Community Risk Factors and Alcohol Control

      Berman, Matthew (American Public Health Association, 2014-04-22)
      Indigenous residents of Alaska (Alaska Natives) die by suicide at a rate nearly 4 times the US average and the average for all American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs).1---3 An astonishing 7% of Alaska respondents to a 2003 international household survey of Arctic Indigenous people indicated that they had seriously contemplated suicide within the past year.4 Studies have shown that alcohol is directly or indirectly involved in most of these deaths.5---9 Although Alaska Natives have encountered alcohol for well over a century, the high suicide risk is an entrenched but comparatively recent phenomenon affecting only the past 2 generations.9,10 Figure 1 shows that crude suicide rates for this group rose rapidly in the decade after Alaska achieved statehood in 1959. The 3-year moving average rate peaked at more than 50 per 100 000 in the early 1980s, before declining to a level of about 40 per 100 000 during the past decade. The dip in suicide rates in the late 1970s likely represents faulty data rather than a real departure from the secular trend.11 An emerging new pattern of risk drove the increase in suicide rates in the 1960s. Higher suicide rates among young men led the rise in suicide as a whole.9,12,13 More recently, another important pattern of differential risk emerged as more Alaska Natives moved to the state’s growing urban areas in search of jobs. Suicide rates among Alaska Native residents remaining in small rural communities are more than twice as high as those among Native residents of urban areas and vary greatly among communities even in the same region (Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics, unpublished data).13 In fact, suicide rates may have declined since the peak in the 1980s (Figure 1) only because the lower risk population of urbandwelling Alaska Natives has grown relative to the more vulnerable rural population. The large disparities among populations with similar ethnicity and histories suggest that the elevated suicide risk is not simply an unfortunate side effect of rapid social change but may be influenced directly by contemporary living conditions. The association
    • Indigenous Regulatory Advocacy in Canada’s Far North: Mobilizing the First Mile Connectivity Consortium

      Hudson, Heather E.; McMahon, Robert; Fabian, Lyle (Journal of Information Policy, 2014-05)
      Marginalized groups such as Indigenous communities and residents of remote and rural areas face daunting challenges as they attempt to influence regulatory decision-making. Can these under-resourced groups hope to have their voices heard in regulatory proceedings, in the face of well-funded corporate interests? Applying a participatory research method to regulatory hearings regarding telecommunications services in Canada’s far north, the authors argue that they can, and identify specific strategies and tactics that they can employ when doing so.
    • 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.
    • Fate Control and Human Rights: The Policies and Practices of Local Governance in America's Arctic

      Kimmel, Mara (Duke University School of Law, 2014-12-01)
      The loss of territoriality over lands conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act had adverse impacts for Alaskan tribal governance. Despite policy frameworks that emphasize the value of local governance at an international, regional, and statewide level, Alaskan tribes face unique obstacles to exercising their authority, with consequences for both human development and human rights. This Article examines how territoriality was lost and analyzes the four major effects of this loss on tribal governance. It then describes two distinct but complimentary strategies to rebuilding tribal governance authority that rely on both territorial and non-territorial authority.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Conducting rigorous research with subgroups of at-risk youth: lessons learned from a teen pregnancy prevention project in Alaska

      Hohman-Billmeier, Kathryn; Nye, Margaret; Martin, Stephanie (Taylor and Francis, 2016-12-01)
      In 2010, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) received federal funding to test an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program. The grant required a major modification to an existing program and a randomized control trial (RCT) to test its effectiveness. As the major modifications, Alaska used peer educators instead of adults to deliver the program to youth aged 1419 instead of the original curriculum intended age range of 1214. Cultural and approach adaptations were included as well. After 4 years of implementation and data collection, the sample was too small to provide statistically significant results. The lack of findings gave no information about the modification, nor any explanation of how the curriculum was received, or reasons for the small sample. This paper reports on a case study follow-up to the RCT to better understand outcome and implementation results. For this study, researchers reviewed project documents and interviewed peer educators, state and local staff, and evaluators. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) the professional growth of peer educators and development of peer education, (b) difficulties resulting from curriculum content, especially for subpopulations of sexually active youth, youth identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual, pregnant, and parenting youth and (c) the appropriateness of an RCT with subpopulations of at-risk youth. Three recommendations emerged from the case study. First, including as many stakeholders as possible in the program and evaluation design phases is essential, and must be supported by appropriate funding streams and training. Second, there must be recognition of the multiple small subpopulations found in Alaska when adapting programs designed for a larger and more homogeneous population. Third, RCTs may not be appropriate for all population subgroups.
    • 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.
    • Transitions of social-ecological subsistence systems in the Arctic

      Fauchald, Per; Hausner, Vera; Schmidt, Jennifer; Clark, Douglas A. (Utrecht University Library Open Access Journals, 2017-01-01)
      Transitions of social-ecological systems (SES) expose governance systems to new challenges. This is particularly so in the Arctic where resource systems are increasingly subjected to global warming, industrial development and globalization which subsequently alter the local SES dynamics. Based on common-pool resource theory, we developed a dynamic conceptual model explaining how exogenous drivers might alter a traditional subsistence system from a provisioning to an appropriation actions situation. In a provisioning action situation the resource users do not control the resource level but adapt to the fluctuating availability of resources, and the collective challenge revolve around securing the subsistence in the community. An increased harvest pressure enabled by exogenous drivers could transform the SES to an appropriation action situation where the collective challenge has changed to avoid overuse of a common-pool resource. The model was used as a focal lens to investigate the premises for broad-scale transitions of subsistence-oriented SESs in Arctic Alaska, Canada and Greenland. We synthesized data from documents, official statistics and grey and scientific literature to explore the different components of our model. Our synthesis suggests that the traditional Arctic subsistence SESs mostly comply with a provisioning action situation. Despite population growth and available technology; urbanization, increased wage labor and importation of food have reduced the resource demand, and we find no evidence for a broad-scale transition to an appropriation action situation throughout the Western Arctic. However, appropriation challenges have emerged in some cases either as a consequence of commercialization of the resource or by severely reduced resource stocks due to various exogenous drivers. Future transitions of SESs could be triggered by the emergence of commercial local food markets and Arctic warming. In particular, Arctic warming is an intensifying exogenous driver that is threatening many important Arctic wildlife resources inflicting increased appropriation challenges to the governance of local harvest.
    • Fisheries Production: Management Institutions, Spatial Choice, and the Quest for Policy Invariance

      Reimer, Matthew; Abbott, Joshua; Wilen, James (University of Chicago Press Journals, 2017-04-01)
      The fishery-dependent data used to estimate fishing production technologies are shaped by the incentive structures that influence fishermen’s purposeful choices across their multiple margins of production. Using a combination of analytical and simulation methods, we demonstrate how market prices and regulatory institutions influence a dominant short-run margin of production—the deployment of fishing time over space. We show that institutionally driven spatial selection leads to only a partial exploration of the full production set, yielding poorly identified estimates of production possibilities outside of the institutionally dependent status quo. The implication is that many estimated fisheries production functions suffer from a lack of policy invariance and may yield misleading predictions for even the most short-run of policy evaluation tasks. Our findings suggest that accurate assessment of the impacts of a policy intervention requires a description of the fishing production process that is sufficiently structural so as to be invariant to institutional changes.
    • Resource rents, universal basic income, and poverty among Alaska’s Indigenous peoples

      Berman, Matthew (Elsevier, 2018-02-24)
      The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program provides universal basic income (UBI) to all residents from investment earnings of a state sovereign wealth fund created from oil rents. This paper evaluates the effect of the PFD to mitigate poverty among the state’s rural Indigenous (Alaska Native) peoples: a population with historically high poverty rates living in a region with limited economic opportunities. Errors in recording PFD income in data used to calculate official poverty statistics cause them to misrepresent poverty in Alaska and understate the effect of the PFD. Estimating poverty rates with and without PFD income therefore requires reconstruction of family incomes from household-level data. Estimated poverty rates from reconstructed income show that the PFD has had a substantial, although diminishing mitigating effect on poverty for rural Indigenous families. The PFD has had a larger effect on poverty among children and elders than for the rural Alaska Native population as a whole. Alaska Native seniors, who receive additional sources of UBI derived primarily from resource rents besides the PFD, have seen a decline in poverty rates, while poverty rates for children have increased. Evidence has not appeared for commonly hypothesized potential adverse social and economic consequences of UBI.