• FAA Capstone Program: Phase I Interim Safety Study (2002)

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      The Capstone Phase I area is a geographic region from 58° to 64° north latitude and 155° to 167° west longitude (Figure 1-1, next page). Nearly all the Capstone Phase I ground systems and avionics are in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta within the Capstone area. Bethel is the aviation center of the delta. It is also the largest community in the Y-K Delta and the economic, governmental, and cultural center of the region. Aniak to the northeast and St. Marys to the northwest are also economic and mail distribution hubs for the delta. The economic, social, political, cultural, and regulatory factors affecting aviation safety in the Y-K Delta—and the Capstone-equipped aircraft flying there—are the focus of this report. The Capstone area does include communities outside the Y-K Delta—Iliamna, Unalakleet, Dillingham, King Salmon and McGrath— but the focus of Capstone activity is aircraft and flight activity based in Bethel, Aniak, and St. Marys. This report builds on two previous reports, Air Safety in Southwest Alaska – Capstone Baseline Safety Report (baseline report) and the Capstone Phase I Interim Safety Study, 2000/2001 (interim study).
    • FAA Capstone Program: Phase II Baseline Report (Southeast Alaska)

      Berman, Matthew; Daniels, Wayne; Brian, Jerry; Hill, Alexandra; Kirk, Leonard; Martin, Stephanie; Seger, Jason; Wiita, Amy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      This report provides the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with information on air safety and aviation infrastructure in southeast Alaska as of December 31, 2002. The data will establish a baseline to enable the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) to conduct an independent evaluation of how the Capstone program affects aviation safety in the region. The FAA contracted with UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and Aviation Technology Division to do a variety of training and evaluation tasks related to the Capstone program. The program is a joint effort of industry and the FAA to improve aviation safety and efficiency in select regions of Alaska, through government-furnished avionics equipment and improvements in ground infrastructure.
    • Factors Influencing Success of Wind-Diesel Hybrid Systems in Remote Alaska Communities: Results of an Informal Survey

      Fay, Ginny; Udovyk, Nataliya (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-10)
      In 2008 the Alaska State Legislature created and funded the Renewable Energy Fund. As a result of this available funding, the number of wind-diesel hybrid power systems is increasing dramatically in rural Alaska. Development, integration, and operation of complex wind technologies in remote, rural communities are challenging. With multiple communities in Alaska installing and operating these systems, it is important to understand the factors that influence successful completion, operation and long-term maintenance of projects (Fay, Schwoerer and Keith 2010; Colt, Goldsmith and Wiita 2003). As of fall 2011, over $107 million has been spent constructing wind projects in 27 communities (Alaska Energy Authority 2011). The majority of these systems were built since 2008 and utilized $50.8 million in appropriations from the REF by the Alaska legislature (Fay, Crimp and Villalobos-Melendez 2011) This report summarizes the findings of an informal survey conducted on the most important characteristics of a successful wind-diesel hybrid power project in small remote rural communities. The survey was done to help guide socioeconomic research in Alaska on community capacity under a U.S. Department of Energy project entitled “Making Wind Work for Alaska: Supporting the Development of Sustainable, Resilient, Cost-Effective Wind-Diesel Systems for Isolated Communities”.
    • FASD Costs: Evidence from Hawaii Medicaid Data

      Hanson, Bridget; Porter, Rebecca; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2019)
      Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), a collection of permanent yet preventable developmental disabilities and birth defects resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure, are associated with substantial costs. We use information from Hawaii Medicaid data for individuals who have at least one FASD-related condition. The total spending for these individuals between 2011 and 2015 was $460,515,584. Of that total, more than $32 million is directly associated with FASD-related visits/codes. We find that the average FASD-related visit costs $121, which is more expensive than the average medicaid visit. We also find that the frequency of FASD-related visits increases with age. We find evidence that the number of initial conditions is positively associated with the number of visits and accumulated medical costs and that 20% of the patients are responsible for 85.85% of the total spending. This paper was supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement 5NU01DD001143.
    • Federal Spending and Revenues in Alaska

      Larson, Eric; Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      This report describes the flows of federal money in and out of Alaska. The report focuses on the period from 1983 through 2002 to identify patterns and changes in federal spending in the state. The report identifies the major components, departments, programs, and types of federal spending in Alaska and describes how each has changed over time. This analysis provides the basis for understanding the significant role the federal government has played in the Alaska economy
    • Federal Spending in Alaska: Running Out of Steam?

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-05)
      After nearly a decade of explosive growth, federal spending in Alaska has turned flat, except for the temporary boost from the stimulus package—the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—that pumped more than $2.2 billion into the state economy in 2009 and 2010. (Shown in black in the figure below.) Total federal spending in Alaska was $11.2 billion in 2009 and $10.9 billion in 2010, compared with about $9.4 billion in 2008. But without the stimulus funds, federal spending in 2009 and 2010 would have been no higher than in the previous four years. Alaska was first among the states in per capita stimulus funds, with more than $3,000 per capita, or nearly four times the national average. Spending is no longer growing for either defense or grants—the largest categories of federal dollars coming into the state. Still, the special characteristics that have historically kept Alaska near the top of the state rankings for federal funds per capita will continue to guarantee a strong role for federal dollars in the economy. Here we discuss the composition of federal spending in Alaska, comparing it with spending in other states, and also review stimulus spending and provide examples of the importance of federal funds to particular sectors of the state economy. In an appendix, we correct a serious reporting error in data from the U.S. Department of Commerce on federal spending in Alaska. Because of the difficulties in sorting out temporary stimulus spending in 2009 and 2010—and because of errors in federal data for those years—2008 spending provides the best picture of recent federal spending in Alaska.
    • Financial Performance of Alaska Native Regional Corporations

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      This edition of the Alaska Review of Social and Economic Conditions examines one narrow measure of how well Alaska Native Corporations have done in managing nearly 1 billion dollars and 44 million acres for the benefit of their shareholders. It describes the financial performance of the regional corporations from their beginnings in 1973 through 1990. We also report available information on shareholder employment. The endowment of natural resources in each region explains a lot about the relative financial success of the corporations: some regions just have more marketable resources than others. But aside from the differences attributable to random resource distribution, we can make several points about the corporations' cumulative financial performance over this period.
    • Financing Water and Sewer Operation and Maintenance in Rural Alaska

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      Are existing sanitation systems simply too expensive for many Alaska villages? Or could small utilities operate in the black if they increased their charges and toughened collection policies? How much difference do village leadership and commitment to good sanitation make? Could alternative technologies provide adequate sanitation for less? To help shed some light on these questions, the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage prepared this volume. It presents seven recent analyses, by various authors, of some aspects of financing water and sewer operations and maintenance in rural Alaska. We added an introductory chapter, a final chapter drawing some conclusions from the various analyses and discussing policy issues, and an executive summary. The analyses look at methods villages use to pay for O&M; the share of small sanitation systems operating in the red; the costs of selected closed-haul systems (one alternative to piped systems); the fiscal capacity of small rural communities; and steps that might help small sanitation systems meet their costs. These studies are not comprehensive, and in some cases they raise as many questions as they answer. But they provide valuable information on a public policy issue Alaska will continue to grapple with for the foreseeable future.
    • The First Year of the Alaska IFQ Program: Survey Reports

      Knapp, Gunnar; Hull, Dan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1996)
      These three reports present the results of a mail survey conducted in the spring of 1996 by the University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). The purpose of the surveys was to gather information on changes during the first year of the Individual Fishing Quota program. The survey was funded by the Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The report represents a start towards understanding the effects of the IFQ program. More detailed research over a period of years will be needed before the full effects of the program can be understood. The first report details findings from surveys of registered buyers of halibut and sablefish. Major findings include variation in effects on fish processing regardless of the size of the operation. The second report details findings from surveys of halibut quota shareholders. Major findings include the information that IFQ holders were choosing to fish together with more than one IFQ holder on board a fishing vessel. The third report details findings from surveys of sablefish quota shareholders. Again, the findings indicate that IFQ holders were choosing to fish together with more than one IFQ holder on board a fishing vessel.
    • Fiscal and Economic Analysis of Homer Town Square Proposed Development Alternatives

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      This report presents a fiscal and economic analysis of potential development within the Homer Town Square area. We first consider current land use patterns and tax revenues. We then estimate the fiscal and economic effects of a development scenario provided by Christopher Beck and Associates. Fiscal effects are measured by property and sales tax revenue. Economic effects are measured by employment within Homer. Finally, we report empirical results from a broad national sample of similar efforts to promote economic development and quality of life through improvements to downtown areas and commercial centers. The “existing trends” scenario attempts to account for trends and events that are likely occur in the absence of specific new development initiatives in the study area. The “town square” scenario accounts for changes that will happen with the focused development of a town square development initiative. The difference between the two scenarios in a variable of interest – such as property taxes -- is the effect that we can reasonably attribute to the town square development itself. Commercial taxable sales within the study area increase over 5 years to become about 50% higher in 2008 under the town square scenario, yielding about $1.2 million in additional sales tax revenue to Homer and an additional $680,000 of additional sales tax revenue to the Kenai Peninsula Borough. Property taxes from the study area increase by 2008 to a level 35% higher than under existing trends, yielding an additional $79,000 in property tax revenue to the city and an additional $133,000 in property tax revenues to the borough, college, and hospital.
    • Fiscal and Socio-economic Impact of Marginal Oil Field Development in Alaska: Does It Pay Its Own Way?

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1996)
      As oil industry interest turns toward Alaskan oil fields with higher unit costs of production and, consequently, lower state revenues per barrel, an important public policy question is whether these fields on state lands are able to "pay their own way." This is loosely defined to mean that the benefits to the state from the development of the publicly owned resource exceed the public costs associated with development. A related question is how much state tax and royalty policy can change in an attempt to stimulate marginal field development and still provide a net economic benefit to the state. This paper develops a methodology for analyzing the conditions under which an oil field development produces a net economic benefit to the state. The model calculates the public sector costs associated with field development and compares them to the public revenues generated by the oil production from the field. The methodology demonstrates that whether a project produces net economic benefits depends not only upon the characteristics of the economy, the characteristics of the oil field, and the existing or anticipated fiscal regime but also on the benefits and costs chosen for inclusion in the analysis. In particular, the question of which revenues and which costs to attribute to the development is an important determinant of the result. The paper presents an analysis using a hypothetical marginal oil field in Alaska as an example. This example demonstrates that using the definitions of costs and benefits commonly associated with other natural resource activities in the state, marginal oil field development is likely to be able to "pay its own way" under a variety of fiscal regimes. This paper was presented at the International Conference on Petroleum Fiscal Regimes in Anchorage, Alaska on May 3, 1996 .
    • Fiscal Effects of Commercial Fishing, Mining and Tourism

      Loeffler, Bob; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015)
      This report summarizes the fiscal effects of the commercial fishing, mining, and tourism industries on Alaska’s state government. The report calculates state revenue collected from each industry and compares it to the state’s expenditures for that industry. What revenue does the State of Alaska receive from commercial fishing? From the mining industry? From tourism? What does the state pay out to manage each resource? While the comparison between the state’s revenue and expenditures is useful information, this report is not an economic benefit-cost analysis.
    • Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Use Scenarios for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04-29)
      This paper presents the projected fiscal impacts on Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) and its taxpayers, through year 2050, of six alternative land use and population scenarios. The analysis is focused on population growth and education spending, due to the overwhelming importance of school expenditures in overall borough finances. The Mat-Su Borough is Alaska’s fastest growing borough. Between 2000 and 2012, MSB population grew by 3.8% per year, from about 60,000 to about 94,000. Also, real1 total school expenditures per student (both operating plus capital) increased by 1.6% per year between 2003 and 2012. The State of Alaska currently pays 71% of these total education costs.2 With Alaska oil production decreasing, state education spending per student is likely to decline. Population growth could therefore be costly to MSB residents if school and other costs increase faster than available financial resources.
    • Food System Assessment

      Hanna, Virgene; Frazier, Rosyland; Parker, Khristy L.; Ikatova, Irena (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012)
      Food assessments are conducted for different reasons such as creating a more sustainable commercial food production system or to target particular policies. The main focus of this effort was to locate indicators that could be updated regularly so current information would be readily available and so that changes or trends could be monitored. Without knowing the current state of food-related indicators it’s difficult to make informed decisions about which issues and goals are priorities. We start with an overview of the food system model we used. Chapter 2 is a demographic overview of Alaska’s residents. The next five chapters present the indicators for each of the components of the food system. Chapter 8 contains the data we think would be need to develop a better picture of Alaska’s food system. The final section of this report is an index of the indicators: the name of the indicator, where the indicator appears in this report, the years of data included, the source (the agency or organization thatproduced the data), the source title for the data, and the location of the data, usually a Web address.
    • The Foraker Group Report on the Alaska Nonprofit Economy

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      The nonprofit sector comprises those nongovernmental organizations, commonly known as 501c corporations, that are exempt from the federal corporate income tax. As such, they are a large and very diverse group, as reflected in the different categories identified in the federal tax code. Although comprising a broad array of activities, the entities in the nonprofit sector can be characterized by the following six characteristics: First, they serve some public purpose and contribute to the public good. Second, they involve some voluntary participation, typically in the form of a board of directors, but often involving voluntary labor as well. Third, they are self-governing—meaning that they have internal controls that are not governed by outsiders. Fourth, they are not dedicated to generating profits for their owners through their activities, except that excess revenues may be reinvested in the mission of the organization. Fifth, they are institutionally separate from the government. And finally, they are organizations which typically secure legal standing as corporations chartered under state laws. This allows them to enter into contracts and carry on other functions. However, it is not necessary for a nonprofit to be chartered in this way. (The informal nature of many nonprofits makes it difficult to track and measure the total importance of the sector.) This report is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive description of the nonprofit sector in Alaska. It is based upon a diverse collection of state and national data sources pieced together to create a comprehensive picture of the scope and importance of nonprofits.
    • The Foraker Group Report on the Alaska Nonprofit Economy: 2010 Update

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-11)
      A report on the economic importance of Alaska’s nonprofit sector conducted by the Institute of Social and Economic Research University of Alaska Anchorage
    • Forest Service Acquisition of Harvested Native Lands in Southeast Alaska

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      This study describes Native lands in southeast Alaska and discusses the market value of these lands. The study was mandated by section 501(c) of the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990, to assess the feasibility of Forest Service acquisition of significantly harvested lands. During the course of the study, neither the Forest Service nor any Native corporations indicated either a specific or a general interest in such acquisitions; thus the study focuses on providing general background information about Native lands and their market value. A major problem in estimating market values for harvested timberland in southeast Alaska is that no sales of large tracts of harvested or unharvested lands have occurred. Large tracts might command significantly lower per-acre prices than have occurred in the past for small tracts. Appendixes to the report include maps showing the boundaries of Native timberlands and areas of significant timber harvesting; aerial photographs; and other detailed data.
    • Four Scenarios for Alaska's Future

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-05)
      The Alaska economy is growing as high commodity prices (for oil and gold in particular) drive the private sector and oil revenue surpluses fuel the state budget. But as oil production continues to decline; the prospect for commercialization of North Slope gas in the near term fades; access to petroleum resources on federal lands remains stalled; and non-petroleum resource development moves forward only slowly, many Alaskans are concerned with what path the Alaska economy will take in the next decades. We could go in four possible directions. Here we offer a short description of each scenario— general enough to let each person fill in the blanks. Our objective is not to predict but rather to stimulate thought and discussion about what Alaskans can and should do to move the economy along the preferred path. Here’s a summary of the four potential paths. A more detailed description follows.
    • From Northern Village to Global Village

      Hudson, Heather (Global Telecom Women's Network, 2012)
      The digital divide, which originally signifed the gap between those with Internet acces and those without, now applies to broadband. As other software and applications, such as health records, government documents, and educational materials are moving to the cloud rather than being installed on local devices, people in developing regions will need affordable broadband to access them.
    • From Oil to Assets: Managing Alaska's New Wealth

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      Low oil prices always capture headlines in Alaska, because the state government has run mostly on oil revenues for 20 years. So the slide in oil prices this year has once again made us think Alaska is becoming poor, and we worry about more budget cuts and an economic downturn. But two big changes in recent years make Alaska’s current fiscal condition better than it might seem. Sustainable revenues (and spending) are higher than we estimated a few years ago. And with a growing share of revenues from asset earnings, the state has the chance to make its year-to-year revenue flow more stable. Still, despite this good news, problems remain. The state’s fiscal policy has been to divide general purpose revenues into two categories: oil revenues have mostly paid General Fund expenses, and Permanent Fund earnings have been used to pay dividends to Alaskans (as well as to inflation-proof and build the fund balance). Low oil prices gouged a hole in the General Fund budget in 1998, while a strong stock market boosted Permanent Fund earnings. In the following pages we discuss in more detail the good financial news for Alaska and how we estimate “sustainable” spending. We also look at the choices Alaska has for keeping its finances healthy in the long run.