• Alaska Economy: An Overview

      Larson, Eric (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      Understanding the composition of the Alaska economy is important for research, policy analysis, and project assessment. This report provides a fundamental description of the Alaska economy using basic economic principles and measures of economic activity. Measurements such as employment, income, wages, and output serve as the basis for this analysis. When used together, these measures provide a more complete view of the economy than any single economic measure. Section I of this report describes the Alaska economy as a whole by identifying the most important dimensions of economic activity, introducing the measures used to observe this activity, and describing the major changes in these measures over the past twenty years. Section II analyzes the structure of the Alaska economy by breaking the economy into its major components and describing the contribution of each sector.
    • Big Ticket Spending: Transfers and Labor Costs

      Gorsuch, Lee; Goldsmith, Scott; Hogan, Jay (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      This paper profiles state transfer (grant and claim) programs and labor costs (including both payroll and benefits), which together account for three of every four dollars the state spends on general operating expenses. This analysis is a complement to previous Fiscal Policy Papers in which we have examined different aspects of state government spending and revenue generation. This paper examines how the two biggest categories of spending affect the state operating budget. We conclude by looking at the implications of our analysis for declining revenues.
    • Comparing Fiscal Policy Proposals

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      This paper is a summary of a larger report which compares 8 fiscal policy proposals to assess what effects each would have over the next 20 years on state spending, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and state savings. The alternatives we assess range from continuing current policies to freezing the budget, to changing the allocation of Permanent Fund earnings.
    • Evaluation of Future Purposes and Functions of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority

      Essayad, Musa; Gordon, David (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      In their endeavor to sketch a strategic plan for the 1990s, the board of directors of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) to render independent, professional advice on how to establish a framework for evaluating AIDEA's direction and options for the future. The analysis and findings of the study are based on the policy and functional issues unique to AIDEA, and on the experiences of similar development financing institutions in other countries. A summary of findings and recommendations follows this introduction, and four subsequent chapters detail our findings.
    • Alaska's Dependence on State Spending

      Goldsmith, Scott; Gorsuch, Lee (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      It would be hard to exaggerate Alaska’s economic dependence on state government spending. State spending supports nearly one of every three jobs. Three of every ten dollars of personal income grow out of state spending. If state officials balance the budget entirely through spending cuts, economic growth could slow dramatically over the next decade, costing Alaska 35,000 new jobs. We can’t avoid the economic slowdown that the fiscal gap will produce, but we can help ease its effects by a combination of more efficient use of our assets, spending cuts, cost containment, and new taxes or other new revenues. This paper analyzes how different state fiscal policies could reduce economic disruption from the fiscal gap in the coming years.
    • Alaska's Potential Tax Revenues

      Leask, Linda; Berman, Matthew; Gorsuch, Lee; Goldsmith, Scott; Hull, Teresa (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      This paper analyzes potential revenues for Alaskan governments, and is a complement to the spending analysis in Fiscal Policy Paper #2. To estimate potential revenues, we need a standard against which to measure Alaska tax efforts. We use national average tax rates; we examine how much tax Alaska's state and local governments currently collect, and estimate how much different tax collections would be if tax rates were at national averages. We look separately at taxes paid by individuals and businesses and by resource industries.
    • Alaska State Government Spending Since 1979: Tracing The Growth

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      During the decade of the 1980s the state of Alaska collected $46.3 billion (1989 $) in revenues, $31.8 billion from the production and ownership of petroleum resources, $8.2 billion as earnings on financial assets (the majority from the Permanent Fund), $3.2 billion from the federal government, and $3.1 billion from all other sources. Since 1979 state government has been on a spending spree of unparalleled proportions. This paper is an attempt to analyze the composition of that spending and in particular to identify the spending which is over and above a "maintenance level". It is a historical analysis but the objective is to use this information to look · into the future, to try to understand how state government will evolve in the next 2 decades. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Economic Association in San Diego, California July 2, 1990
    • Alaska Housing Markets In 1990: Report and Research Summary

      Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra; Leask, Linda (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      At the beginning of the new decade, Alaska urban housing markets appear to have largely ended their four-year slide. Population and home sales are up. Residential vacancies and mortgage defaults are down. This report is one of a series prepared for the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) on the economy and housing markets of urban areas of Alaska. It reviews the housing markets in Alaska's major urban centers and discusses the outlook for 1990 and 1991. The geographic areas covered include Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Mat-Su Valley.
    • Oil Price Surprises and the Budget

      Goldsmith, Scott (1990)
      Policy makers drawing up state budgets each year tend to use the price of oil prevailing during the legislative session as the basis for predicting oil prices and likely state petroleum revenues. Currently these make up about 85 percent of state income. This fiscal policy note examines some recent trends and the implications for short-term volatility, and longer term declines for state spending.
    • How Oil Prices Affect the Fiscal Gap

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      In this short summary based on ISER's Fiscal Policy Papers series, we estimate the timing and size of the state fiscal gap at the currently proposed $2.5 billion level of spending and at various oil prices. Findings are presented in figures and summarized.
    • Review of the 1990 Census in Alaska - Report and Research Summary

      Pelz, Robert; Kruse, Jack (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Although not required by law to do so, the State of Alaska uses the federal decennial census count of the state's population as a basis for redistricting the state legislature. This study was commissioned by the Reapportionment Board to answer the question of whether the decennial census count is the best source of data for redistricting. The methods used to examine the quality of the decennial census count also offered an opportunity to assess the quality of demographic, social, and economic data collected from samples of households. These same methods provided a useful basis for recommendations on how to improve the next decennial census.
    • Education Equity and Taxpayer Equity: A Review of the Alaska Public School Foundation Funding Program

      Larson, Eric; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      The Alaska Legislature asked ISER to examine what has driven up costs of Alaska's school districts in the past two decades, and to assess how the state's School Foundation Program could better achieve both taxpayer and education equity. This summary describes what we studied, reports how much specific categories of school costs went up and why, and outlines our conclusions and suggestions about taxpayer and education equity and the foundation program. We examined changes in the major categories of school operating costs over the past two decades. We studied operations spending not only because it makes up most of school district spending, but also because it is recurring, with a similar pattern year after year. Capital projects, by contrast, differ each year, depending on what districts and the legislature decide is most urgent, and on how much money the state has to spend for capital projects.
    • Cost Effectiveness of Alternative Window Systems in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Southcentral Alaska

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      This research memorandum evaluates the cost-effectiveness of installing alternative window types in a prototype new home in Alaska. The analysis is performed for Anchorage, using natural gas as the fuel; and for the Southcentral and Fairbanks regions, using oil as the fuel. The comparison between baseline 1 and more efficient windows is structured as an investment analysis. We look at the incremental costs and benefits of the more efficient windows relative to the less efficient. All other variables, such as the cost of the walls, floors, and ceiling of the house, are held constant and therefore "drop out" of the analysis. Compared to double-paned R-1.7 windows, more efficient R-3.1 windows are cost effective in Anchorage under a wide of assumptions about fuel costs and construction costs. This result holds even more strongly in Fairbanks and Southcentral, where the cost of energy is far higher.
    • Alaska Economic Indicators

      Goldsmith, Scott; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Analysis of the economic indicators clearly shows the deceleration of the Alaska economy which has occurred in 1991. The influence of the oil spill cleanup effort is no longer a significant factor in determining the course of the economy, thus allowing the other economic drivers to reassert their influence. This report is made up primarily of tabulated and charted data with a short commentary regarding key economic indicators of employment, income, and 'miscellaneous' items such as building activity.
    • Alaska's Gross State Product, 1961-1990

      Larson, Eric; Goldsmith, Scott; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Alaska's gross state product (GSP) in 1990 was almost $25 billion. That compares with less than $1 billion in 1961. Even if we adjust those figures to remove the effects of inflation, the real gross state product was still nearly 6 times bigger in 1990 than it had been 30 years earlier. GSP is a crucial measure of Alaska's economic capacity: of Alaska's ability to produce for the local, national, and world markets. But only a part of GSP stays in Alaska. A big share goes to multi-national oil companies, the federal government, and others outside Alaska. So when we talk about how much GSP grew in recent times, that doesn't all translate into economic benefits for Alaskans.
    • Alaska's North Slope Borough Revisited

      Knapp, Gunnar; Morehouse, Thomas (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Alaska's North Slope Borough, established in 1972, is in many ways a unique institution of Native-controlled local government in the north. The borough represents a significant case study of Native self-determination under unusually favorable conditions: indigenous, local control of both resource wealth and political power. The North Slope Borough has been the instrument by which the Inupiat of the North Slope have successfully captured and used the oil wealth in their region, with clear economic and political benefits. They have gained high levels of local public services, jobs, and incomes; and effective representation in negotiations with external corporate and government authorities. The borough has also helped to preserve and adapt critical elements of traditional Inupiat culture. Costs of development and change under North Slope Borough leadership have included waste and inefficiency as well as crime and corruption. Centralized power in borough headquarters has reduced the independence of the borough villages and encouraged borough · citizens to act like clients and consumers. The Borough economy remains dependent upon uncertain tax revenues from the oil industry, with uncertain future employment opportunities for a rapidly growing Native population. North Slope Borough government has provided the Alaska arctic Inupiat with means to greater political self-sufficiency. Overall, the North Slope Borough has responded effectively, under great pressure, to the opportunities and the problems that petroleum development has brought to the region.
    • An Assessment of the Needs of Alaska Residents Who Are Disabled

      Hanna, Virgene; Kruse, Jack (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Over 20,000 Alaska residents currently experience at least one form of disability. This estimate is based on a telephone survey of 4,364 households randomly selected to represent all households in the state of Alaska. Among the most frequently reported disabilities are non-neuromuscular mobility impairments, arthritis, hearing impairments, and learning disabilities. Other disabilities involving at least 2,000 Alaska residents include visual impairments, cardiovascular or pulmonary disorders, neuromuscular impairment, emotional disability, communicative disability and head injuries. The survey was designed to identify reasons why people cannot get the specific help they need. The remainder of this section on independent living service needs displays statewide estimates by type of service. The reader may find it helpful to refer to the questionnaire reproduced in Appendix B when reviewing the tabulations.
    • Alaska Seafood Industry: Seafood Sector Report and Summary

      Knapp, Gunnar; Smith, Terrence (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      The Alaska Seafood Industry Sector Report is a comprehensive review of Alaska's seafood harvesting and processing industry through the decade of the 1980s. This report provides an overview of the seafood industry in Alaska. We present basic information on fish and shellfish harvesting, processing,fisheries markets,seafood industry employment and income, publicrevenues and expenditures in support of fisheries,and product prices. Included under eachof these topics are separate data and discussion for salmon, shellfish, herring, halibut and bottornfish. The data presented focus on the last ten years of the fisheries,that is,1980-1989.
    • Development in Remote Regions: What Do We Know?

      Morehouse, Thomas; Huskey, Lee (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      This article assesses a recent body of research on economic development and socio-political change in northern and other remote regions of developed, western nations. The regions include northern Canada, Alaska, northern Scandinavia, Australia's Northern Territory, and Micronesia. Research topics covered are theoretical perspectives, resource development, Native claims, and village economies. "Remote regions" are physically, economically, and politically distant from centers of wealth and power; they are culturally or ethnically diverse and sparsely settled; and they exhibit extreme limits on their autonomy, self-sufficiency, and welfare. "Development" of these regions is defined as the overcoming of internal and external obstacles to change in conditions associated with their remoteness. The authors ask whether the research has increased our understanding of the nature of these regions and of their development problems. Their answer is generally affirmative, but they also identify specific research gaps, problems, and needs. The latter include needs for more explicit theorizing, comparative and historical approaches, and research on resource ownership, Native claims outcomes, village subsistence, and population migration.
    • 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