• Ecology, Economics, Politics, and the Alaska Forest Industry

      Knapp, Gunnar (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station., 2000)
      Ecology, economics, and politics together define and constrain opportunities for the Alaska forest products industry. Ecology limits potential timber harvest paths and non-timber benefits over time. One kind of ecological limit is the tradeoff between potential harvest levels over time. Another kind of ecological limit is the tradeoff between timber harvests and non-timber forest benefits such as fish and wildlife and scenery. The tradeoffs we make between ecologically possible levels of timber harvests over time and ecologically possible combinations of timber and non-timber benefits are political decisions. Ecology sets broad limits to possible Alaska timber harvest paths over time. But within these broad ecological limits are narrower political limits that reflect the choices we are willing to make about tradeoffs over time and tradeoffs between timber and non-timber benefits.
    • Economic Analysis of an Integrated Wind-Hydrogen Energy System for a Small Alaska Community

      Colt, Steve; Gilbert, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-12)
      Wind-hydrogen systems provide one way to store intermittent wind energy as hydrogen. We explored the hypothesis that an integrated wind-hydrogen system supplying electricity, heat, and transportation fuel could serve the needs of an isolated (off-grid) Alaska community at a lower cost than a collection of separate systems. Analysis indicates that: 1) Combustible Hydrogen could be produced with current technologies for direct use as a transportation fuel for about $15/gallon-equivalent; 2) The capital cost of the wind energy rather than the capital cost of electrolyzers dominates this high cost; and 3) There do not appear to be diseconomies of small scale for current electrolyzers serving a a village of 400 people.
    • Economic Analysis of Future Offshore Oil & Gas Development: Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, and North Aleutian Basin

      Goldsmith, Scott; Cuyno, Leah; Kovacs, Kent; Mundy, Nancy; Bunger, Anne; McCoy, Terri (Northern Economics (in association with ISER), 2009)
      This study describes and quantifies the potential economic benefits to the State of Alaska and local communities from developing oil and gas resources in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas. The findings of this study are not predictions of the future for Alaska, but rather they describe a reasonable approach that one might expect for OCS development. The findings also provide a basis for thinking about potential actions that state and local governments, industry, and other stakeholders might undertake to deal most effectively with the effects that do occur. While there have been other studies in the past that looked at the potential effects of OCS development, this study is based on more recent information and represents the current state of knowledge in OCS resource estimates, exploration, development, and production activities; recent technology improvements; and state and local government fiscal systems. The economic benefits described here are based on assumptions about when and how OCS development, as well as other economic development in the state, might occur during the next 50 years. The magnitude of the economic effects of OCS development are contingent on assumptions about petroleum prices, volumes of OCS resources that might be economically recoverable, the levels of investment that the petroleum industry would be willing to spend to develop in the OCS areas, and the fiscal regime or tax structure that would be in effect as OCS oil and gas development occurs.
    • Economic Analysis of the Potential Sale of the Thorne Bay Electric Utility

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1993)
      This report was prepared as an analysis of different options for the potential sale of the Thorne Bay Electric Utility. It addresses costs of service, rates, fiscal impact on the City of Thorne Bay, financial effect on the residents, future costs and a number of other important factors for evaluating the economic implications of such a sale.
    • Economic and Demographic Projections for Alaska and Greater Anchorage 2010–2035

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-12)
      This report describes three economic, demographic, and fiscal projections for the state of Alaska and the Greater Anchorage region consisting of the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska- Susitna Borough. These projections have been prepared by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) of the University of Alaska Anchorage as part of the development of the Seward Highway to Glenn Highway Connection (H2H) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Department of Transportation and Facilities. These projections will be used to estimate future travel demand within the study area. The assumptions driving the three projections were developed by ISER in consultation with the study team and planners and economic development staff from Anchorage and Mat-Su. The BASE CASE projection is driven by a set of assumptions that together represent a likely future scenario for employment and population growth. The HIGH and LOW CASES are each driven by a set of assumptions that together represent the range of possible outcomes around the likely BASE CASE. The assumptions are based upon the best information available at the time that they were developed—the fall of 2009. The economic and demographic projections, contingent upon the assumptions for the different cases, were prepared using the MAP economic and demographic model developed by ISER. The main body of this report is a description of each of the three projection cases. This is followed by short sections comparing the three projections to one another and to an earlier projection prepared by ISER for KABATA (Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority) in 2005. There is also a brief description of the structure of the MAP model. A number of appendices contain detailed tables of model output as well as a detailed description of the assumptions for each of the three cases.
    • Economic and Social Impacts of BSAI Crab Rationalization on the Communities of King Cove, Akutan, and False Pass

      Lowe, Marie; Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      This report examines economic and social impacts of the first two years of crab rationalization on the Aleutians East Borough communities of King Cove, Akutan and False Pass. The study was conducted by the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) for the Aleutians East Borough (AEB) and the City of King Cove. Crab rationalization resulted in dramatic consolidation in Bering Sea crab fisheries. During the first two years of rationalization, consolidation reduced the number of boats participating in the Bristol Bay Red King Crab fishery and the Bering Sea Snow Crab fishery by about two-thirds. This consolidation in the fleet, and the corresponding reduction in crab fishing jobs and crab boat spending, was a major immediate short-term factor driving economic impacts on the three study communities to date. Longer-term concerns of community residents extend beyond these immediate economic impacts to many other issues. The report is based on a literature review, interviews conducted during visits to each study community, analysis of federal and state and local fisheries data and community data, and a household survey conducted by the City of King Cove. The primary focus of the study is on King Cove, because it is a larger community which has experienced greater effects of crab rationalization.
    • Economic and Social Impacts of the Copper River Highway - Volumes 1-4

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1993-06-01)
    • Economic Assessment of Bristol Bay Area National Wildlife Refuges: Alaska Peninsula, Becharof, Izembek, Togiak

      Hill, Alexandra; Goldsmith, Scott; Hull, Teresa (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      This report presents an economic assessment of the National Wildlife Refuges in Southwestern Alaska. Those refuges cover millions of acres on the Alaska Peninsula and along the north coast of Bristol Bay (Map S-1). They include large wilderness areas; spawning grounds for the rich Bristol Bay commercial salmon runs; staging areas for huge flocks of migrating waterfowl; and some of the world’s best brown bear habitat. Several thousand Alaska Natives and other rural Alaskans also live in communities on or near the refuges and rely on fish, wildlife, and plants from the refuges. The Institute of Social and Economic Research contracted with Industrial Economics, Incorporated to perform this economic assessment for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It includes measures of both economic significance and net economic value. Both are useful for policy analysis, but they measure economic activity differently. Economic significance analysis measures the role of the refuges in the regional and statewide economies. Net economic value analysis measures the overall value of the refuges to Alaska, but also to the U.S. as a whole.
    • The Economic Benefits of Public Transportation in Anchorage

      Killorin, Mary; Larson, Eric; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Public transportation in Anchorage benefits transit riders and the entire community in many different ways: All forms of transit provide access to jobs, medical services, social services, shopping, recreation, and participation in the community. This enables more people to work and to spend more in the local economy. The bus system, AnchorRIDES, and Share-A-Ride (including the Van Pool) programs enable many car owners to use these alternatives instead of driving. This reduces the number of vehicles on the roads and, consequently, the costs of traffic congestion, pollution, traffic collisions, parking, and traffic services. People Mover and AnchorRIDES buses also provide essential low-cost transportation services for workers, students, tourists, low- income residents, people with disabilities, and elderly residents. This improves the quality of life and economic well-being of these groups. Public transit also contributes to economic development, improved environmental quality, better public health, land use, and improved quality of life. This report describes and quantifies many types of public transit benefits. Sections II and III provide an overview of the current level of transit services. Sections IV, V, and VI present the estimation of benefits to users, society, and the community. Section VII discusses how benefits would increase as a result of different types of ridership increases. Section VIII presents a calculation of the economic significance of the inputs used in the operation of the transit system.
    • Economic Comparison of Power Generation Alternatives for Thorne Bay, Alaska

      Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      This study is an economic screening analysis of power generation alternatives for the city of Thorne Bay, a community of about 650 people located on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. The City currently operates a municipal utility providing electric service to 190 residential and 40 commercial and small industrial customers. City power is currently generated by three diesel units with a total installed capacity of [600 + 650 + 325] = 1,575 kilowatts (kW). Three non-diesel alternatives for base load power are considered in this analysis. The first is an intertie from the Craig-Klawock power grid to Thorne Bay, which would allow Thorne Bay to receive power from the Black Bear Lake hydroelectric project now under construction by Alaska Power and Telephone (AP&T), a regulated investor-owned utility. The second alternative is a wood-waste fired power plant located in Thorne Bay, making use of the wood waste from the Ketchikan Pulp Company (KPC) sort yard. The third alternative is a biomass power plant, also loctaed in Thorne Bay, but fired primarily from municipal solid waste generated on Prince of Wales Island. This plant would also use wood waste, but as a supplemental fuel.
    • Economic Consequences of 1989-1990 Mt. Redoubt Eruptions

      Talbot, Liz; Tuck, Bradford; Huskey, Lee (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1992)
      The Mt. Redoubt eruptions of 1989-1990 presented all of the elements of a major natural disaster, including the extensive disruption of social and economic activity, significant property damage, and the threat of major loss of human life. Some of the costs associated with a major eruptions, or series of eruptions, are unavoidable. However, other costs may be avoided, or at least reduced. The economic value of such mitigation efforts depends on both the costs and benefits of mitigation. In the case of natural disasters, the benefit of mitigation are measured by the avoided economic costs of future disasters. Thus, the economic costs associated with the Mt. Redoubt eruptions of 1989-1990 can serve as a measure of the potential benefits to be derived from future mitigation activities. Measurement of these economic costs has been the primary objective of this study.
    • Economic Contribution of Anchorage International Airport

      Larson, Eric; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1995)
      Airport jobs created by Anchorage residents and by non-local airport users wouldn't exist without the airport. The 750 jobs created by tenants that don't directly rely on air services would still exist without the airport; they could easily be somewhere else in the city. Those jobs are mainly with the U.S. Postal Service and the Alaska Department of Transponation's regional headquarters. Providing air transport services to Anchorage residents doesn't bring new money into the economy - it recycles money already in the economy. But the other airpon users do bring money into the Anchorage economy. The jobs created by those other user groups are what economists call basic jobs: jobs that generate economic growih by producing goods or services that are sold outside the region. The other source of jobs at the airport is Tenants Not Aviation Dependent. These jobs don't depend on the airport, but since they are physically located on airport land, a complete description of the airport as an economic entity must include them. They account for 750 jobs at the airport and another 600 jobs in the community - bringing the total of jobs at the airport and in the community to 12,300. The payroll for the 750 airport jobs is $29 million, and the 600 jobs in the community have a payroll of $15 million-bringing the total payroll for airport and related community jobs to $360 million. This is the economic effect of all of the activities physically located at the airport.
    • The Economic Contributions of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

      Pitney, Kim; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-06)
      The purpose of this study was to evaluate the economic significance of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District within the Kenai Peninsula Borough. We use an Alaska-specific Input-Output (I-O) model created by Dr. Scott Goldsmith of ISER, which is custom designed for the Alaska economy to “relate changes in spending in a particular industry to total changes in jobs and income in the Alaska economy.1” In the 2009/2010 school year, the school district directly created 1468.4 jobs, and about $109 million dollars was spent in south central Alaska. Based on the results of the model, this created 628.6 jobs, mostly in the borough, but with some located in Anchorage. These figures highlight the school district's role in the private as well as the public sector of the Kenai Peninsula Borough economy.
    • Economic Cost of a Rent-Induced Business Cycle: Alaska Petrodollar Boom

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Presented at the annual meeting of the Western Regional Science Association in Monterey, California
    • Economic Development Performance Indicators: 3 Briefing Papers

      Howe, Lance; Leask, Linda; Martin, Stephanie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      Recent federal legislation established an economic development committee and 12 regional advisory committees with the Denali Commission. To measure the success of the programs established under these committees, performance indicators and measures are required. This report reviews and inventories exisiting performance measure for rural Alaska as the foundation of a study for new measures.
    • Economic Development Through State Ownership of Oil and Gas: Evaluating Alaska's Royalty-In-Kind Program

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Government owners of petroleum subsurface rights often face constituent pressure to exercise control over the disposition of these resources in pursuit of economic development objectives. At the same time, states cannot simply dissipate the potential rent from their resources without losing a principal revenue source. The paper takes a retrospective look at the state of Alaska's policies and programs regarding disposition of oil and gas resources, focusing on the evolution of the royalty-in-kind program. It examines the relative success of different programs in achieving objectives of import substitution and value-added export relative to the cost in foregone revenue. The analysis leads to general conclusions about programs of this type, along with specific insights as the state prepares to embark on the biggest test yet related to the disposition of North Slope natural gas. Prepared for presentation to the Western Regional Science Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, California.
    • Economic Effects of Climate Change in Alaska

      Berman, Matthew; Schmidt, Jennifer (American Meteorological Society (AMS), 11/27/2018)
      We summarize the potential nature and scope of economic effects of climate change in Alaska that have already occurred and are likely to become manifest over the next 30-50 years. We classified potential effects discussed in the literature into categories according to climate driver, type of environmental service affected, certainty and timing of the effects, and potential magnitude of economic consequences. We then described the nature of important economic effects, and provided estimates of larger, more certain effects for which data were available. Largest economic effects were associated with costs to prevent damage, relocate, and replace infrastructure threatened by permafrost thaw, sea level rise, and coastal erosion. The costs to infrastructure were offset by a large projected reduction in space heating costs attributable to milder winters. Overall, we estimated that five, relatively certain, large effects that could be readily quantified would impose an annual net cost of $340-$700 million, or 0.6 to 1.3 percent of Alaska GDP. This significant, but relatively modest net economic effect for Alaska as a whole obscures large regional disparities, as rural communities face large projected costs while more southerly urban residents experience net gains.
    • Economic Effects of Management Changes for Kenai River Late-Run Sockeye

      Knapp, Gunnar; Haley, Sharman; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1996)
      If fishery managers allowed more late-run sockeye salmon into the Kenai River in July, what would be the economic gains for the sport fishery and the losses for the Upper Cook Inlet commercial fishery? The Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage examined that question, under a contract with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). We looked mainly at the effects of increasing the management target for late-run sockeye by 200,000. Managers could make that change in a number of ways - but for this study, ADF&G provided us with specific assumptions about what they would do. Different assumptions could change our results. To assess the effects of the management changes we studied, it helps to think about three questions: (1) What creates the economic effects? (2) How do we measure those effects? (3) How do different conditions affect the results? We measured the effects of those changes in two ways: changes in net economic value and economic impacts. Net economic value is a measure of benefits minus costs: we add up all the benefits and costs of a change, then subtract the costs. What's left is the net gain or loss in value.
    • Economic Feasibility of North Slope Propane Production and Distribution to Select Alaska Communities

      Schwörer, Tobias; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-06)
      Could propane from Alaska’s North Slope reduce energy costs for electric utilities and residential space heating, water heating, and cooking demands? We explored the hypothesis that propane is a viable alternative for fourteen selected communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, coastal Alaska, and Fairbanks. Our analysis forecasts propane and fuel prices at the wholesale and retail levels by incorporating current transportation margins with recent analysis on Alaska fuel price projections. Annual savings to households associated with converting to propane from fuel oil can be up to $1,700 at $60 per barrel (bbl) of crude oil, and amount to $5,300 at $140 per barrel.1 Fairbanks residents would benefit from switching to propane for all applications at crude oil prices of $60/bbl. Interesting to note is that switching to propane for domestic water heating makes more sense at lower oil prices than conversions for home space heating. Three of the fourteen communities are projected to benefit from switching to propane for home heating at crude oil prices greater than $80 per barrel, and four communities at crude oil prices of more than $110/bbl. On the other hand, nine communities would benefit from conversion to propane for water heating as crude oil prices reach $50 and above. The realized household savings are also sensitive to assumptions surrounding the operating cost of the production facility and barge transportation delivery costs.
    • Economic Forecasting in a Remote Northern Region: Lessons from Alaska

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      The driving force behind the economic transformation of Alaska has been petroleum development. Exploitation of this resource has created an extraordinary surplus of which a large portion has been retained within the region and used for growth and development. The importance of this surplus--oil company profits, federal taxes, and state-local taxes--can be seen in a comparison of the components of value added in Alaska with the US as a whole. (Value added is a measure of the value of all the goods and services produced for final demand in an economy and is similar to Gross Product.) For the US as a whole employee compensation (wages paid and benefits to workers) is the largest component of value added and its share has remained almost constant over time at about 57%. In contrast, in Alaska employee compensation, originally 68% of value added, had fallen to 37% of value added by the late 1980s. The other components of value added, payments to other factors and profits, increased from 32% to 63% of the total. Most of this increase reflects the value of oil production above its cost. It is this surplus, more than any other factor which has challenged economists attempting to forecast the direction of the economy. But some of the more traditional aspects of the economy have also made it difficult to forecast. Presented at First Alaska-Japan Regional Forum on the North Pacific, Niigata, Japan"