• Alaska Fuel Price Projections 2013-2035

      Fay, Ginny; Meléndez, Alejandra Villalobos; Pathan, Sohrab; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-06-30)
      The Alaska Fuel Price Projections are developed for the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) for the purpose of estimating the potential benefits and costs of renewable energy projects. Project developers submit applications to AEA for grants awarded under the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund (REF) program process. These fuel price projections are used to evaluate the economic feasibility of project applications; economic feasibility is only one of many factors of the project evaluation process. In this report we present the methodology for the seventh fuel prices projection. In addition to their use for the REF review, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) uses the projections for other economic research and energy project evaluations. Economists at ISER have completed six previous Alaska Fuel Price Projections since 2008 (all available at: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/). The fuel price projections fulfill an important need for price information and are used by many stakeholders in addition to AEA. As a result of their broad use among the public, we expanded what used to be cursory notes on methodology. Our intent is to provide more detailed information to the report’s readers and users of the fuel price projections.
    • Alaska Fuel Price Projections 2014-2040

      Fay, Ginny; Meléndez, Alejandra Villalobos (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-07)
      The Alaska Fuel Price Projections are developed annually for the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) for the purpose of estimating the potential costs and benefits of renewable energy projects. Project developers submit applications to AEA for grants awarded under the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund (REF) program. These fuel price projections are used to evaluate the economic feasibility of project applications; economic feasibility is only one of many factors of the project evaluation process. Economists at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) have completed seven previous Alaska Fuel Price Projections since 2008 (all available at: http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/). In this report we present the methodology for the most recent fuel prices projection. In addition to their use for the REF review, ISER researchers use the projections for other economic research and energy project evaluations. The fuel price projections also fulfill an important need for price information and are used by many stakeholders in addition to AEA. As a result of their broad use among the public, we expanded what used to be cursory notes on methodology. Our intent is to provide more detailed information to the report’s readers and users of the fuel price projections.
    • 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.
    • Alaska Native Graduates of UAA: What Can They Tell Us?

      Erickson, Diane; Hirshberg, Diane (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-03)
      Alaska Natives make up 9% of students at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and the number attending classes on the Anchorage campus is up more than 40% since 2000—from 950 to nearly 1,400. But despite that fast growth, few Alaska Native students go on to graduate. Less than 5% of the students earning bachelor’s degrees at UAA in 2007 were Alaska Native. And as Figure 1 shows, only about one in 10 of the Native students who were freshmen in 2000 had earned bachelor’s degrees six years later, in 2006. Alaska Native students begin leaving at high rates in their second year at UAA. Among those who started in 2005, less than 60% of the Native freshmen but 70% of all freshmen went on to the next year. Still, that was an improvement over 2000, when only about half the Alaska Native freshmen continued on to their second year (Figure 1). The low graduation rates among Native students—not only at UAA but throughout the University of Alaska—are worrisome. Alaska Natives are under-represented in teaching, health care, business, and many other professions—and that won’t change until more Alaska Native students get the educational credentials they need. But what about those Alaska Native students who do succeed in earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees and doctorates? What keeps them going, when so many others don’t make it to graduation?
    • The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend: A Case Study in the Direct Distribution of Resource Rent

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-01)
      The Alaska Permanent Fund is a sovereign wealth fund of the state of Alaska established in 1976 by a vote of the people to preserve part of the revenues from current oil production for future generations. Twenty percent of direct petroleum revenues have been deposited into the fund which now has a balance of $32 billion. Over its life it has generated nominal earnings of $35 billion. The successes of the fun in saving a share of the Alaska petroleum windfall and generating income are due to several factors. The boom-bust economic history of the state has been a reminder of the need to actively manage public resources. Fund management is independent of general government finances and extremely transparent. It invests to maximize long run income. In addition, the modest share of petroleum revenues set aside in the fund has left enough available for the state to expand public spending, including the establishment of a number of programs designed to strengthen the economy in recognition of the non sustainability of the petroleum sector. Since these public programs benefit particular segments of the population, the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend program was created in 1982 to provide an annual unconditional direct cash distribution to all Alaska residents. The dividend was felt to be the most equitable way to distribute a share of the public wealth of the state to the entire population. Since the inception of the program, the dividend has been paid each year. About half of Permanent Fund earnings have been allocated to the dividend program and the rest to increasing the balance in the fund. The size of the dividend has increased as the fund has grown, but it fluctuates considerably because fund earnings change from year to year. In 2010 the dividend payment was $1,281 which augmented per capita income by 3 percent. The dividend program has become extremely popular since most Alaskans feel that individuals can benefit more from deciding themselves how to spend at least a portion of the public wealth rather than allowing the government to decide on their behalf. However a minority of the population feels the dividend fosters an attitude of consumerism and leads to underinvestment. And although the dividend has created a strong constituency defending the Alaska Permanent Fund, which many feel is the main reason for the success of the fund, there is concern that the dividend will prevent the fund from being used for its ultimate purpose which is to help support the economy after petroleum production ends. Beyond its obvious positive impact on aggregate income, employment and population, little analysis has been done of other economic, social, and political effects of the dividend program. Because the dividend is not viewed as a policy to improve social welfare, but rather as a means to share public wealth equitably, interest in these other potential effects has been limited.
    • Alaska Snapshot: What's Happened to the Alaska Economy Since Oil Prices Dropped?

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-11-01)
      North Slope oil has paid for most of Alaska state government—and indirectly, a big share of local government—since the 1980s. It’s also been the backbone for much of Alaska’s economic growth over time. But today, a combination of declining oil production and sharply lower oil prices has left the state budget billions of dollars in the red and is reverberating throughout the economy. How has the big drop in oil prices affected the Alaska economy so far? This paper looks at that question, using changes in the number of jobs— statewide, and also by census area and sector—as a gauge. We look specifically at the period from March 2014, when oil prices were over $100 a barrel, through March 2016, when prices had dropped below $40. We use that period because right now reliable employment data are only available through the first quarter of 2016. Also, this is a broad look at job changes, not a detailed analysis of all the specific changes we found.
    • Alaska Veterans Needs Assessment

      Guettabi, Mouhcine; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-10-01)
      The Institute of Social of Economic Research conducted a needs assessment of Alaska Veterans starting in the spring of 2014. Our goal was to identify and measure areas for improvement in providing services and determining the methods to achieve improvement. Our approach consisted of three methods: ‐ Survey of Alaska veterans using a list of 2,950 veterans who have requested veteran designation on their driver’s license. ‐ Focus groups: one consisting of women and one of disabled veterans. ‐ Key informant interviews with individuals responsible for helping veterans navigate the benefits available to them. Our findings are far ranging and details can be found in the report below. One of the most important lessons was the difference in needs across age groups. Younger veterans were concerned about education and employment while their older counterparts valued health care and navigating the application process. Consistent with these differences, the focus groups made it clear that targeted reminders that take into account the veteran’s life stage may be more effective. As things stand, the amount of information one is exposed to at separation can be overwhelming and intimidating. Awareness and use of federal benefits was high for health care, housing, and education benefits. Employment services were less utilized but most of our respondents were aware of their existence (Table 19). Across the board, lack of knowledge/awareness of specific benefits does not seem to be systemic. The three most claimed benefits were Health Care, Disability Compensation, Home Loans, and Education and Training. At the state level, the most commonly claimed benefits by the survey respondents are the veteran driver’s license, veterans license plates, hunting and fishing licenses, property exemption, education benefits, and veterans housing and residential loans. Of note is that only 9% claimed Veteran employment services and awareness about state benefits seems to be more of an issue than in the federal case. A third of our respondents had a disability rating of 50% or higher. Disability payments are very important across the board but seem to be essential for veterans with higher disability ratings. These payments were also more important to younger veterans who potentially have had less time to accumulate savings over their lifetime. Health care use is very much associated with age as older respondents were more likely to have applied for Health Care Services. Additionally, disability rating is also associated with frequency of health care use and utilization of VA services. Thirty percent of our respondents think they will use VA as their primary source of healthcare.Younger veterans are considerably more likely to use education benefits. The majority of our respondents used education benefits after active duty. However, more than ten percent have used education benefits both before and after and another seven percent used them only during active service. When asked about living arrangements in case a veteran could not care for themselves, it was clear that proximity to friends and family was paramount. Anchorage was chosen as the location most of them would prefer.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending 2012 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-02)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2012 will be $7.7 billion, up 3% from 2011.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will be stable at the same level as last year— 15,800. This is down from a peak of 18,300 in 2005. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 41% of the total—construction spending will be $4.6 billion, up 4% from 2011 and about the same rate of increase as last year. Oil and gas spending will be $3.2 billion, 1% higher than in 2011. Private spending for construction will be up in 2012. Public spending for traditional government purposes will be down somewhat, but public funds also help finance some projects in the utility and health sectors, which are primarily private. So overall, an increase in state spending for construction will offset a decline in federal spending.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending 2015 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Cravez, Pamela (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-01-01)
      OVERVIEW The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2015 will be $8.5 billion, down 3% from 2014.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry, which increased an estimated 6 percent last year, to about 17,600, will decline slightly in 2015.4 Oil and gas sector spending will fall 2% to $3.8 billion from its record level of $3.9 billion last year. Other spending will be $4.7 billion, a decline from $4.9 billion last year. Private spending, excluding oil and gas, will be about $1.7 billion, down from $2.0 billion last year—while public spending will increase from $2.9 to $3.0 billion. Construction spending in Alaska in 2015 is expected to be strong in spite of the drop in the price of oil from more than $100 per barrel in the summer of 2014 to between $45 and $50 today. However, the longer the price stays low, the greater the risk that some projects will be cancelled or postponed. It is impossible to predict what will happen to the oil price, because world supply has outstripped demand. The price will stabilize, and perhaps begin to increase, only when the low price stimulates more demand and eliminates high cost production, a process that could take more than a year. A further complication is the unpredictability of the role of OPEC in determining oil supply. In particular Saudi Arabia, the largest producer, could decide to restrict supply for political or strategic reasons. Because of the drop in the price of oil, the state is facing a general fund budget deficit of about $3 billion for the current fiscal year (FY2015) and is projected to have a similar deficit in FY2016 (which begins July 1 of this year). However, this will not have a large negative impact on state government construction spending this year for several reasons.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending 2016 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Cravez, Pamela (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-01-01)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2016 will be $7.3 billion, down 18% from 2015.1,2,3 Oil and gas sector spending will fall 25% to $3.1 billion from its record level of $4.2 billion last year. All other construction spending will be $4.2 billion, a decline of 11% from $4.7 billion last year. Private spending, excluding oil and gas, will be about $1.4 billion, down 24% from $1.8 billion last year—while public spending will decline 6% to $2.8 billion from $2.9 billion. Wage and salary employment in the construction industry, which increased an estimated 6 percent last year to almost 18,000, will decline slightly in 2016.4 The decline in construction spending in Alaska in 2016 can be traced directly to the precipitous drop in the price of oil over the last 18 months, after the previous period of unprecedented high prices a few years earlier. In mid- 2014 the price was above $110 per barrel, but as this report is being written the price has fallen below $30 for the first time in 12 years. Furthermore, the short-term outlook is for the price to remain low, or even decline further, because supply continues to outstrip demand and inventories continue to accumulate. The longer term outlook for price also continues to fall, because of the resilience of production in the face of the falling price. The high price stimulated increases in construction spending across all sectors of the Alaska economy, particularly among oil and gas companies and the state government. The low price is now beginning to reduce construction spending within the economy, except for federal spending and spending by basic industries that benefit from lower oil prices. So far the price drop has been felt most directly in the oil and gas sector. Although many companies announced optimistic investment programs for 2016, most, if not all, have recently announced cutbacks or postponements. The longer the price remains low, the greater the likelihood of further cutbacks in the oil patch. Because of the oil price drop, a deficit of $2 billion opened in the state general fund in FY2014, and it has increased to $3.5 billion for each of the last two years. Although the state has been fortunate to have sufficient cash reserves to offset this revenue shortfall in the short term, it has meant a dramatic decline in new state funding for capital projects. Whereas the general fund capital appropriation in FY2013 was more than $2 billion, in this past year it was only enough to cover the required match on federal transportation grants. And looking ahead, there is very little prospect for a significant increase in the capital budget in the coming years. But the sharp decline in the state capital budget over the last three years has so far had limited effects on construction spending. This is because it takes considerable time for appropriated funds to become “cash on the street.” Several billion dollars of capital appropriations remain “in the pipeline,” which will keep state spending from falling dramatically this year. However, the amount of construction spending will be winding down in many communities like Juneau, Kodiak, and Fairbanks (excluding Eielson Air Force Base) because of declining state spending. Because of the size of the state budget deficit, it is possible that some projects in the pipeline that have not yet been approved could be cancelled. However, this will be moderated by concern over the negative impacts on the economy from such cancellations. Spending for national defense will be higher this year. And fortunately, federal spending not related to defense—mostly consisting of grants, both to the state for transportation (roads, harbors, railroad and ferry system) and sanitation projects and to non-profits for health facilities and housing—is not sensitive to the price of oil. Since 2013 the Alaska economy has underperformed compared with the national average in spite of the stimulus of high oil prices that led to record high levels of employment in the oil and gas and construction sectors. Job growth has been less than 1% annually and is forecast to be negative in 2016. State population has not increased in the last two years. This slowdown, combined with the heightened uncertainty about the future direction of the economy, brought on by the sudden fall in the oil price, will slow new private investment—particularly in the commercial and residential construction sectors as investors adopt a “wait and see” attitude, in regard to both the private economy and the ability of the state government to deal with the deficit. The decline in private construction spending this year is also partially due to the completion of a number of large utility and hospital projects. As in past years, some firms are reluctant to reveal their investment plans, because they don’t want to alert competitors; also, some have not completed their 2016 planning. Large projects often span two or more years, so estimating “cash on the street” in any year is always difficult because the construction “pipeline” never flows in a completely predictable fashion. Tracing the path of federal spending coming into Alaska without double counting is also a challenge, and because of the complexity of the state capital budget, it is always difficult to follow all the flows of state money into the economy. We are confident in the overall pattern of the forecast. However, as always, we can expect some surprises as the year progresses.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Cravez, Pamela (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-01-01)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2017 will be $6.5 billion, down 10% from 2016.1, 2,3 Oil and gas sector spending will fall 15% to $2.4 billion, from $2.9 billion last year. All other construction spending will be $4.0 billion, a decline of 7% from $4.3 billion last year. Private spending, excluding oil and gas, will be about $1.6 billion, up 2% from last year—while public spending will decline 12% to $2.5 billion. Wage and salary employment in the construction industry, which dropped by 8.5% in 2016 to 16.2 thousand, will drop another 7.4% in 2017 to 15 thousand, the lowest level in more than a decade.n 2016 the Alaska economy slipped into a recession that is expected to continue at least through 2017. Total wage and salary employment fell in 2016 by 6.8 thousand, about 2%. This year it is anticipated the decline will be 7.5 thousand, or 2.3%, which will return the economy to the 2010 level.5 Weakness in the economy is also reflected in a net outmigration of population over the last four years.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending, 2010 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2010 will be $7.0 billion, down 3% from 2009.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will continue the slow decline which began in 2006, but the level remains above the long-term average for the industry. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 43% of the total—construction spending will be $4.0 billion— down 4% from 2009. Private-sector construction spending will be down only 1% from 2009, to $4.4 billion, in spite of the slowdown in the Alaska economy. Oil and gas sector spending will be flat. Spending will increase in the utilities and hospitals4 categories but will decline in mining, residential, other commercial, and the other rural basic sector categories. Public construction spending will be down 5%, to $2.6 billion, in spite of the infusion of cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Although some categories of federal spending will be higher, many will be lower and state spending will also be lower because of the lean FY 2010 capital budget. Uncertainty in this year’s forecast comes from several sources. As we start 2010 there is no clear indication if the national economy is starting to recover from the recession, and if it does, how strong that recovery will be. Although Alaska has been insulated from the worst effects of the recession—the crash in the housing market, high unemployment, and lack of credit—concerns about the national recovery will continue to influence investment decisions in the state, particularly in the commercial and residential markets. Local government capital spending is also vulnerable to reductions in tax revenues from activities, like tourism, driven by the national economy. The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in early 2009 has provided an important boost to construction spending this year. A second stimulus may be undertaken later this year, but it is too soon to speculate on how that might impact construction spending, so we assume no further federal action. The Alaska economy contracted in 2009 for the first time in 22 years—but the reduction in employment was only about 1%. Forecasts for Alaska’s economy in 2010 vary from further moderate declines in employment to a resumption of growth. This difference of opinion underscores the sense of caution in the business community about the near-term prospects for the economy. As the year begins, petroleum and precious metal (gold and silver) prices are strong and rising, and base metal prices (zinc) have rebounded from the lows of last year. Petroleum and mining capital budgets are particularly sensitive to these prices, which are likely to continue to fluctuate throughout the year. We assume these prices remain strong throughout the year.
    • Alaska's Construction Spending: 2011 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-02)
      The total value of construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2011 will be $7.1 billion, up 4% from 2010.1,2,3 Wage and salary employment in the construction industry will continue the slow decline that began in 2006, but the level remains above the long-term average for the industry. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 41% of the total—construction spending will be $4.2 billion—up 5% from 2010. Private-sector construction spending will be up 6% from 2010, to $4.5 billion, in spite of the expected slow growth in the overall Alaska economy. Oil and gas sector spending will be about $2.9 billion, up 3%. Spending will increase in the utility and hospitals4 categories, but will decline in residential and other commercial categories. Public construction spending will be up 1%, to $2.7 billion, due to the large FY 2011 state capital budget. The main infusion of cash from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has worked its way through the system, and federal spending overall has declined. Uncertainty is particularly significant in the forecast this year, especially in the oil and gas sector—in spite of high oil prices. In January 2011, uncertainty surrounds most of the large-scale petroleum projects on the North Slope and in Cook Inlet. Environmental reviews are slowing development drilling at Point Thomson east of Prudhoe Bay and Alpine West in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska. Exploration drilling offshore in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas continues to face legal challenges. The offshore Liberty project is under internal environmental review. In Cook Inlet, a major offshore exploration effort awaits the uncertain arrival of a jack-up rig. In this forecast we assume most of these projects will move forward this year, but their pace is hard to predict. If several are delayed in 2011, oil and gas spending will be significantly lower.
    • Alaska’s Construction Spending 2009 Forecast

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-01)
      construction spending “on the street” in Alaska in 2009 will be $7.1 billion, down 3% from 2008.1,2,3 Lower construction spending, combined with higher material and labor costs, will result in a modest reduction in the level of construction employment in 2009. Although this will be the fourth year of decline, the level remains considerably above the long-term average. Excluding the oil and gas sector—which accounts for 43% of the total—construction spending will be $4.1 billion—down 1% from 2008. Private-sector construction spending will follow the slowdown in the Alaska economy. Excluding oil and gas, we expect private spending to be $1.3 billion in 2009, a decline of 24% from 2008. But strength in the oil and gas sector will keep the overall private sector decline to only 12%. Mining, utilities, and commercial spending will be down, mostly because a number of large projects have been completed. However, commercial —as well as residential— spending will be weaker, in response to the slowdown in the U.S. economy. Public construction spending will be up 16%, to $2.7 billion, offsetting much of the decline in private spending. That growth will mainly be due to the large FY 2009 state capital budget. But strong federal spending— both military and civilian— and the federal stimulus package will also contribute to the increase. Uncertainty in this year’s forecast comes from several sources. Volatility in commodity prices has affected construction spending in two important ways. The lower petroleum and metals prices in early 2009 have made investment in some prospects less attractive. Also, companies that finance construction activities out of their current cash flow are dealing with shrinking capital budgets. The national economy continues to deteriorate as we enter 2009. Consumers are cutting back on expenditures, and businesses are reducing their capital spending. Credit has become more difficult— if not impossible—to obtain, and the unemployment rate continues to rise. Economists anticipate a long and deep recession at least through 2009 and perhaps beyond. The federal government has stepped in to try to loosen credit markets, so far with only limited success, and we anticipate that early in the year Congress will pass a large stimulus package, perhaps reaching $1 trillion. The Alaska economy has felt few ill effects from the recession ravaging the rest of the nation, but as the recession continues and deepens, Alaska is expected to begin to suffer as well. Resource industries may cut back on their development activities, and businesses may postpone new investments. Consumers may reduce spending. Credit may remain difficult to get, for both the private and public sectors.
    • Alaska’s Health-Care Bill: $7.5 Billion and Climbing

      Foster, Mark A.; Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Leask, Linda E.; Merrill, Clemencia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-08)
      Health-care spending for Alaskans reached about $7.5 billion in 2010. For comparison, that’s close to half the wellhead value of all the oil produced in Alaska that year. It’s also roughly equal to half the wages Alaskans collected in 2010. The state’s health-care spending has been rising fast, tripling since 1990 and jumping 40% just between 2005 and 2010—and at current trends it could double by 2020, reaching more than $14 billion. Here we report on who’s paying the bills, what we’re buying, what’s contributing to the growth, and other aspects of health-care spending. We conclude with a discussion of how Alaska could get better value for its health-care dollars.
    • Alaska’s Oil Production Tax: Comparing the Old and the New

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-05)
      Last year the Alaska Legislature made a controversial change in the oil production tax, the state’s largest source of oil revenue. The old tax, known as ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share), was replaced with MAPA (More Alaska Production Act, or SB21). How much money the production tax brings in is a big issue: oil revenues pay for most state government services, and the industry accounts for roughly half of all Alaska jobs. Supporters say the new tax will stimulate North Slope oil investment, leading to more oil production—and so to higher oil revenues and new jobs. Critics say the oil industry doesn’t base investment decisions on tax structure, and that the revised tax is a give-away to the industry. They cite as evidence the $2.1 billion drop in the Alaska Department of Revenue’s forecast of expected 2014 oil revenues after the new law was passed. Alaskans face a choice between the old and the new tax structures this August, when a referendum on the primary election ballot will ask them whether to keep or repeal the new structure. This paper is intended to help Alaskans understand the two systems, which have the same tax base but differ in their tax rates, credits, and treatment of certain new production.
    • Alaska’s People and Economy, 1867-2009

      Leask, Linda; Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Knapp, Gunnar; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-09)
      Utterly worthless. That’s how a congressman from Missouri described Alaska in 1867, when the U.S. bought it from Russia. A lot of Americans agreed. For almost 100 years, hardly anyone— except some Alaskans—wanted Alaska to become a state. But Alaska did finally become a state, in 1959. Today, after 142 years as a U.S. possession and 50 years as a state, Alaska has produced resources worth (in today’s dollars) around $670 billion. The U.S. paid $7.2 million for Alaska, equal to about $106 million now. For perspective, that’s roughly what the state government collected in royalties from oil produced on state-owned land in just the month of March 2009. To help mark 50 years of statehood, this publication first takes a broad look at what’s changed in Alaska since 1959. That’s on this page and the back page. We’ve also put together a timeline of political and economic events in Alaska from 1867 to the present. That’s on the inside pages. There’s an interactive version of the timeline—with photos, figures, and more—on ISER’s Web site: www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu.
    • Analysis of Alaska Transportation Sectors to Assess Energy Use and Impacts of Price Shocks and Climate Change Legislation

      Fay, Ginny; Schwörer, Tobias; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Armagost, Jeffrey (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-04)
      We analyzed the use of energy by Alaska’s transportation sectors to assess the impact of sudden fuel prices changes. We conducted three types of analysis: 1) Development of broad energy use statistics for each transportation sector, including total annual energy and fuel use, carbon emissions, fuel use per ton-mile and passenger-mile, and cost of fuel per ton-mile and passenger-mile. 2) Economic input-output analysis of air, rail, truck, and water transportation sectors. 3) Adjustment of input-output modeling to reflect sudden fuel price changes to estimate the potential impact on industry output and employment. Alaska air transportation used approximately 1.9 billion gallons of fuel annually; 961 million gallons were used for intra-state and exiting Alaska flights. Water transportation used 101.8 million gallons annually, approximately 84.3 million gallons for intra-state and exiting segments. Railroad and truck transportation used 5.1 and 8.8 million gallons annually, respectively. Simulated fuel price increases resulted in an estimated $456.8 million in value-added losses to the Alaska economy through the increase in cost of transportation services, as well as an equivalent loss in income to Alaska household of $26.8 million. A carbon emissions tax would have the greatest impact on the cost of air transportation services followed by water, trucking and rail.
    • Anchorage Port Intermodal Expansion Program (PIEP) Benefit Cost Analysis of Proposed TIGER Discretionary Grant Funds

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-09-04)
      The Port of Anchorage (POA) has exceeded its design life and has been operating beyond its capacity for a number of years. It is in need of replacement to both minimize operating costs and avoid potential damage in the event of an earthquake. It is in need of expansion to meet the needs of the growing South Central Alaska economy1. In response to these needs the POA has embarked on a multi-year expansion project—the Port Inter-modal Expansion Program (PIEP)2. In early 2009, in the midst of this expansion program, the federal government passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Recovery Act appropriated $1.5 billion of discretionary funds to be awarded by the Department of Transportation for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure (including ports) that would provide long-term economic benefits as well as preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery3. In support of its request for a “Grant for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” (TIGER Grant), the POA asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to prepare a Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) demonstrating the long term economic benefits that would flow from expenditure of grant funds in support of the PIEP. This BCA follows the guidelines set forth in the Federal Register notice announcing the TIGER grant program. It measures the increase in national income that would result from the expenditure of the grant funds in support of the PIEP. Since the POA funding request would pay only a portion of the cost of the entire PIEP, this BCA is limited to measuring the benefits from the expenditure of the TIGER grant funds rather than the total benefits of the entire PIEP.
    • Assessment of Services Available for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence in Anchorage, Alaska

      Vadapalli, Diwakar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-09-01)
      The Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) plans to expand services provided under its Flourishing Child initiative, and requested an assessment of service needs for children in the Anchorage area that are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Specifically, CITC wishes to know if the proposed expansion of Flourishing Child services will satisfy an unmet need in the community. This assessment includes a brief introduction and review of related concepts, and an assessment of services available within the Municipality of Anchorage.