• The Economic Value Of Alaska'S Copper River Personal-Use And Subsistence Fisheries: An Application Of The Zonal Travel Cost Model

      Jones, Michelle Marie; Lee, Todd (1998)
      The salmon harvest on the Copper River, Alaska, is shared by commercial, sport, personal-use and subsistence fishers. An important and reoccurring issue is the allocation of salmon harvest among these user groups. Economic analyses, along with biological, legal, social and cultural considerations, have the potential to help policy makers appreciate the consequences of alternative allocations. Although economic analyses of the commercial and sport fisheries have been completed, no comparable studies exist for the personal-use and subsistence fisheries. The zonal travel cost method (TCM) is used to estimate the net economic value (consumer surplus) of the Copper River Basin personal-use and subsistence fisheries. The nature of the fishery and the data set is especially well suited for this purpose. <p>
    • Institutional structure and the optimal level of lying

      Hiser, Rodney F.; Logan, Robert R. (1999)
      This study is an interdisciplinary comparative analysis of two institutional structures and their relation to lying. The author examines institutional structure through an institutional continuum with contrasting ideal-types at opposing ends. These ideal-types are the "private property order" and the "bureau." The author models lying as a benefit-cost analysis and examines lying through a two-person model of society called the "information relation." Using the information relation, he shows the problem of lying is an agency problem between the informer and the informee. In two separate analyses, the author evaluates the ideal-types' tendencies to either allow or hinder lying. In the first analysis, the author identifies seven protection-from-lying strategies and compares their necessary requirements to the institutional constraints of the ideal types. In the second analysis, the author examines six social phenomena, within the institutional context of each ideal type, that affect people's benefit-cost ratio of lying. The author concludes that there exists a positive correlation between the degree of central planning and the optimal level of lying, as seen from the point of view of each individual in society. The author argues that a movement on the continuum away from the private property order toward the bureau tends to (1) breakdown community relations, (2) provide incentive for society members to adopt value relativism, (3) change the nature of competition, (4) lower society's overall material standard of living, and (5) create a social environment of mutual self-deception. The author sees important implications in this study for the economics of information, theories of government regulation, and the sociology of science.
    • Dichotomous choice contingent valuation willingness to pay estimates across geographically nested samples: case study of Alaskan Steller sea lion

      Turcin, Branka (2001-12)
      This thesis examines Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for an endangered species across geographically nested samples using the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). The samples range from the boroughs that contain critical habitat for the Steller sea lion to the state that contains these boroughs to the entire United States. Depending on the assumptions of the model, WTP varies tremendously from sample to sample. When WTP is unrestricted to the non-negative region, mean WTP for the United States is the highest and it is the lowest for the boroughs. The null hypotheses that mean WTP estimates are greater than zero were rejected for the boroughs and the state but it was not rejected for the United States based on the 95% confidence intervals. When WTP is restricted to the non-negative region, the WTP does not differ significantly from sample to sample. The estimation results may lead to dramatically different policy implications.
    • A statistical analysis of Alaskan oil and natural gas lease bids

      Russell, Sara Lynn (2002-05)
      This study statistically analyzes the behavior of oil and gas lease bidders in Alaska using pooled cross-sectional time series data from 1959 to 1998. The two players associated with this data set are the corporate or major players and the independent or non-major players. The behavior of each group is statistically distinct. Majors maximize profit by exploiting oil and gas; non-majors maximize profit by reselling the leases. The effect of joint bidding is also investigated. The consequence of ownership of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System or TAPS is also considered (all owners of the TAPS are major firms). The findings intimate that owners have a distinct advantage over non-owners. Owners bid significantly higher. Another aspect of the pipeline is the tariff associated with the TAPS. While North Slope sales are more profitable than other sales, the tariff combined with diminishing productivity of leases results in fewer bidders for northern sales.
    • Alaska's Quality Schools Initiative: A Description And Analysis Of 51 Schools' Perceived Strengths And Weaknesses In Factors Associated With Organizational Change

      Mckinny, Betty Jean; Porter, David O. (2003)
      This descriptive study of 51 schools in Alaska examined how educational personnel are responding to the Alaskan Quality Schools Initiative. While research-identifying factors that accelerate or impede general change in organizations already exist, little research has been done in Alaska to assess personnel's attitudes and beliefs about standards-based education. Past school reforms have only experienced moderate success. This study shows that standards-based instruction is perceived by both rural and urban Alaskan educators to be a reform that could make improved achievement a reality. A questionnaire was designed and administered to educational personnel assessing present readiness to implement standards-based education and identifying factors which influenced past implementations of change. Profiles of schools, districts, and the state, reveal factors that may limit or expedite the implementation. Findings indicate that overall past educational change initiatives have been mismanaged. The state scores fall in the low moderate range 60.9 based on Implementation Management Associates Scale of 0--100. In regard to readiness to change the participating schools' scores fall in the moderate range (65.3). The majority of respondents believe that there is a high probability of successful implementation. They see a need and purpose for standards-based education. Personnel valued standards and believed that they were compatible with personal and organization values. Surveyed respondents were confident about the ability to change and were willing to focus on new approaches. The majority indicates the need for more resources and support. A predominant theme in the findings was that organizational stress is very high and personnel are concerned about the adverse effect this change may bring to their jobs. Past reform initiatives have not been aligned with the culture of the school or district. Ineffective communication coupled with low motivation and inadequate incentives has limited implementation efforts. Due to perceived lack of resources and expertise the majority of respondents question whether or not this initiative will be successful. Most rural schools, which have been characterized as widely resistant to change, were found to be more optimistic about change and had fewer barriers to overcome than urban schools.
    • Price credit and price risk simulation for Alaska natural gas pipleline project

      Cao, Yue (2003-05)
      This work describes the price risk involved in developing an Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. Three alternatives were developed. They are an ALCAN Only 4.5 Bcf/day case, a Y-line case, and an ALCAN Only 5.5 Bcf/day case. The simulation result supports the conclusion that the ALCAN Only 4.5 Bcf/day case would be the most feasible and flexible choice for the long-run gas development with less commodity risk. Also, the price credit simulation was run based on the EIA natural gas price forecast. It shows how a Federal Tax Credit helps to reduce price risk making this marginal project more acceptable for participating oil companies. However it might not be revenue neutral for the Federal Government. The risk-assessment model was constructed in the Excel spreadsheet with a commercially purchased add-in feature (@RISK by Palisade Corp.) that performed the Monte Carlo simulation and the probabilistic outcomes. It was designed to be a dynamic tool that could estimate production performance with associated costs, and product prices to Yield an economic analysis. The model was specifically designed for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. This work could be useful for government, companies, and any individual, who is currently involved with the Alaska Natural Gas Act.
    • Management implications of moving from a traditional structured systems development methodology to object-orientation

      Tomasic, Jinlan (2003-05)
      As software application systems become larger and more complex, many software employers and managers believe that the key to sustaining its competitive advantage in the computing technology market lies in its software engineering capabilities. Software crisis situation seems to be a common occurrence in the software development environment as systems become larger and more complex. Object Orientation (OO) has been proposed as a viable alternative to traditional approach (i.e., structured techniques), an approach that many hope will solve the current software crisis. 00 is a new paradigm, and it requires new types of knowledge, new specialists, and significant changes in the mindset, an entirely different way of thinking, representing and solving a problem. The transition of moving toward the 00 from the traditional approach may involve a high risk of failure if the managers do not understand the nature of paradigm shifts and do not anticipate the future. The problem of moving to 00 has become very important. An understanding of potential problems from migrating to the new paradigm helps managers make a smoother paradigm shift. The implications and challenges of the 00 paradigm are presented. The study suggests that Object-Oriented System Development (OOSD) requires more discipline, management and training than traditional software development does. Education and experience are keys for the success of any OOSD project.
    • An economic analysis of the market for Alaska wild salmon protein concentrate in China

      Xu, Pei (2004-08)
      The Alaska wild salmon industry has been in economic turmoil for many years. Plagued by increased production of farmed salmon, wholesale and ex-vessel prices for nearly all Alaska wild salmon species and products are at all time lows. The incentive to harvest the flesh of the lower-valued wild salmon species, such as the Alaskan pink and chum salmon, have led to discard problems. There are no seafood products currently made from the late season roe-stripped carcasses and the meat cannot be readily sold due to its perceived poor quality. The fishers and the processors are now faced with a problem of selling wild salmon products of little economic value. This study reports on an effort to investigate a potential Chinese market for Alaskan salmon protein concentrate (a powder product derived from Alaskan wild pink and Chum salmon). Personal surveys of Chinese consumers were conducted in five Chinese cities (Beijing, Tianjin, Baoding, Shijianzhuang, and Wangdu) to determine if this newly developed product would be valued by Chinese consumers. The relative important characteristics of wild salmon protein concentrate made from pink and chum salmon are compared to the existing protein concentrate consumed in China, made from Chinese grass carp, utilizing conjoint analyses.
    • Market opportunities for carbon sequestration in Alaska

      Duval, Jennifer Elizabeth (2004-12)
      Global climate change has been at the forefront of environmental concerns for the last few decades. Based on the success of the United States' sulfur dioxide cap-and-trade program, a market for greenhouse gas emissions has slowly emerged. Russia's recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will bring an international market into force in February 2005. This thesis examines the economic theory behind cap-and-trade markets as solutions for environmental problems and discusses the characteristics of the markets for greenhouse gas emissions. The opportunities for Alaska's participation are examined, particularly offsetting diesel emissions from rural generators with wood or alternative energies. The calculations estimate that the rural diesel offset program could potentially earn 274,000 Verified Emissions Reductions annually, which the State of Alaska could sell to buyers to enhance its resource development revenue stream.
    • Economic impact of reindeer-caribou interactions on the Seward Peninsula

      Carlson, Stefanie Moreland (2005-05)
      The reindeer industry has persisted on the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska for more than 100 years. Since the mid 1990's the industry has been increasingly threatened by changes in Western Arctic Caribou Herd (WACH) migration paths and winter range. Free-range reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) intermingle with caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) and migrate off designated reindeer ranges. As of spring 2003, eleven of fourteen Seward Peninsula reindeer operations were no longer commercially viable as a result of caribou induced reindeer losses. This loss is significant to an economically depressed region with few development opportunities. An economic input-output model was constructed in this study to analyze the reindeer industry's economic role in the regional economy prior to the loss of reindeer to caribou. Impact scenarios were used to estimate the effect of WACH on the regional economy through decreased output from the reindeer industry. Results show a per annum negative impact of $1.4 million (2000 dollars) on the regional economy with 11 non-operational reindeer herds. If reindeer losses lead to complete elimination of the commercial reindeer industry on the Seward Peninsula, study results show the region would incur a total negative economic impact of more than $17 million.
    • An econometric analysis of global salmon market prices and its implications for the Alaska wild salmon industry

      Holzinger, Abby C. (2007-05)
      The Alaska wild salmon industry has gone through a period of low prices and changing markets in the past two decades. Average exvessel prices have dropped from $1.46 per pound in 1988 to $0.35 per pound in 2005, due in large part to increased volume of farmed salmon and marine-reared rainbow trout. This thesis examines the potential price and revenue effects from the interaction between wild Alaskan salmon and anticipated production increases of farmed salmon from Chile. To investigate these linkages I developed an international simultaneous equilibrium market model for wild and farmed salmon and marine-reared rainbow trout. While world-wide farmed salmon (and trout) and the various wild Alaskan salmon species are not identical products, they are close substitutes. Changes in the volume of aquaculture production substantially affect the market-clearing prices of wild salmon. This model will then be used to simulate potential changes in Chilean farmed salmon production and Alaska wild salmon production on salmon exvessel prices in Alaska.
    • The Political Economy of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Development: A Case Study of Norway's Snøhvit Natural Gas Complex

      Klick, Matthew Thornton; Valcic, Branka; Rosenberg, Jonathan; Haley, Sharman (2008)
      This project uses stakeholder evidence from semi-structured interviews to analyze the relative effectiveness of an oil company’s stated “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) initiatives in a new, Arctic host community. Specifically, this project analyzes the outcomes of StatoilHydro initiatives to date in Hammerfest, Norway, where the Snøhvit (Snow White) natural gas project began production in 2007. It gauges the ability of “socially responsible” approaches to development to internalize negative externalities and promote positive “spin-offs.” Arctic countries are increasingly prioritizing petroleum development. The convergence of dramatic climate change, increasing energy demands, and high energy prices has made the Arctic an alluring frontier for the oil industry and Arctic governments. Small Arctic communities are increasingly playing host to large energy projects with the potential for dramatic cultural, social, environmental, and economic upheaval, but also economic growth and increased human capital. In this case study, CSR initiatives resulted in a broader accounting of social costs and benefits, an outcome that better internalized externalities, and pareto-improving trades between stakeholders and industry.
    • Aligning electricity energy policies in Alaska: analysis of the power cost equalization and renewable energy fund programs

      Villalobos Meléndez, Alejandra; Little, Joseph; Huskey, Lee; Baek, Jungho (2012-05)
      Most rural Alaska communities are not road connected and must cope with challenging arctic environmental conditions. Due to their remoteness and sparse populations, these villages depend on isolated non-grid connected electric generation systems that operate on fuel oil. In Alaska, the Power Cost Equalization program is a 25 year long energy subsidy that targets rural residents to provide energy costs relief. A more recent state incentive program, the Renewable Energy Fund, was developed to expand the use of renewable resources and lower the cost of energy. Some rural communities have benefited from this program and have integrated renewable energy to their systems, particularly installing Wind-Diesel systems. Both programs have congruent goals of alleviating dependence on high cost fossil fuels to generate electricity as means to foster development and higher quality of life in rural Alaska communities. However, their incentive structure may conflict. This paper provides a review of these two energy subsidy policies with a particular focus on the Power Cost Equalization program and offers potential changes to its structure such that social cost impacts to rural residents are minimized while removing incentive barriers against energy efficiency and integration of renewable energy in rural Alaska communities.
    • Commodity definition and content validity in stated preference valuation: a meta-analysis of water quality welfare estimates

      Hansen, Jamie Arnett; Little, Joseph; Fix, Peter; Baek, Jungho (2013-05)
      This paper applies a meta-analysis to investigate variation in willingness to pay estimates that arise from the use of different commodity descriptions in stated preference valuation surveys. To maintain commodity consistency, the data set for this meta-analysis is composed of willingness to pay estimates from contingent valuation, conjoint analysis, and choice experiment studies valuing water quality change in surface water bodies in the United States. The analysis uses an ordinary least squares regression with a cluster command to correct for potential correlation between observations drawn from the same study. The primary contribution of this study is the identification of systematic variation across stated preference studies resulting from changes in how the environmental commodity is presented and defined. By identifying the directional effect of these differences, this analysis provides insight into interpreting stated preference estimates and guidance for producing well-designed stated preference studies capable of eliminating bias and context effects.
    • Species-specific time series analysis of the impact of Alaska policy decisions on salmon harvest yields

      Benshoof, Christopher Wayne; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Goering, Greg (2014-05)
      Throughout Alaska's history, the volume of the yearly salmon harvest has been an issue of much debate. As early as the 1940s and 1950s, decreasing salmon harvests caused territorial leaders to push for Alaska statehood such that the resources could be governed by the people that lived there. Since then, various policy shifts in both 1959 and 1.974 have been credited with supporting higher and higher salmon yields. This thesis incorporates historical data from 1914-2013 for salmon harvests of Chinook, sockeye, coho, pink, and chum salmon along with environmental factors associated with the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) index to investigate the role that policy decisions in Alaska's history have played in the salmon industry. This cointegration relationship is studied using an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach to create statistical models of the time series data for each of the five salmon species. Results for both short-run and long-run impacts are analyzed for each species as well as the salmon market as a whole. The conclusions show that while there is a long-run cointegration relationship between oceanic conditions and Alaska salmon harvest, the policy changes in 1959 had no statistically significant impact on long-run salmon yield. In addition, the changes in 1974 including the Limited Entry Act and bolstered support for salmon hatcheries did have a strongly significant affect on the volume of salmon harvests. The ARDL models presented here offer a new look at historical Alaska policy while taking into account the interconnectedness of the market with the environment.
    • Can tax policy change exploration levels? A case of Alaska oil legislation.

      Tappen, Samuel Weston; Baek, Jungho; Little, Joseph; Reynolds, Douglas (2014-08)
      This thesis applies modern Autoregressive Distributed Lag modeling techniques to estimate the effects of oil tax policy in the case of the 2007 ACES legislation on exploratory drilling within Alaska. This analysis uses recently released public data to examine the period of 1986 to 2013 in quarterly intervals which includes all periods in which ACES was in place. While this subject has become a popular subject of debate within the state and industry, no similar statistical analysis has been conducted to date. According to the results, ACES had a significantly negative and lasting effect on exploration levels while it was in effect. The oil price and interest rate are also found to be important variables in characterizing exploration activity.
    • Social preferences in a common-pool resource dilemma

      Raines, Richard L.; Little, Joseph; Reynolds, Douglas; Baek, Jungho (2014-08)
      The simplifying assumption of rational self-interest is a common one in the social sciences, however it may not always be entirely realistic. People can also adopt a variety of alternative social preferences that place weight on both private and group outcomes. Using experimental methods from economics and psychology, this paper empirically estimates these different "social value orientations" (SVOs), ranging continuously from relatively proself social preferences (competition and individualism) to relatively prosocial (altruism and cooperation). This measure is then applied to a common-pool resource (CPR) experiment to test if social preferences can be used to predict strategic harvesting decisions or participation in a peer-enforced regulatory institution. I find that perfect self-interest is one of many consistent forms of social preference, and that prosocial (proself) preferences successfully predict lower (higher) rates of resource extraction. Social preferences can also be used to predict regulatory participation, but the long-run relationship is less clear.
    • The economic impact of ocean acidification on Pacific oysters

      Eaton, Gary A.; Little, Joseph; Goering, Gregory; Baek, Jungho (2015-05)
      Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, our atmosphere has continued to experience increased levels of CO₂ concentrations and with it, changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. These changes in the carbonate chemistry of seawater, a process known as ocean acidification (OA), threaten some species upon which some economies are largely dependent for economic activity. This thesis uses the best available data to summarize the Washington State shellfish economy and estimate potential impacts of OA on Pacific oyster demand. The analysis evaluates the economic impact of OA on demand using an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model approach to estimate short-run and long-run impacts. Although initial research attempted to assess the impacts of OA on Pacific oyster supply, findings from this study suggest that long-run decreases in carbonate chemistry may negatively impact the demand for Pacific oysters. As the waters used to grow Pacific oysters in Washington State continue to degrade as a result of OA, substantial losses in economic activity from Pacific oysters may be lost. On the west coast, oysters appear to be a luxury good with demand highly responsive to changes in income. Pacific oysters are moderately sensitive to price, indicating demand for oysters is elastic.
    • Sablefish after the individual fishing quota program: an international economic market model

      Warpinski, Stephanie; Herrmann, Mark; Criddle, Keith; Greenberg, Joshua (2015-05)
      Sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) are distributed from Baja California to western Japan. Alaska is the world's principal supplier of sablefish with the majority of commercial landings occurring in the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. This demersal, long-lived fish is harvested in one of Alaska's highest valued commercial fisheries, primarily with fixed gear. The total value of the sablefish fishery is comparable to that of the Pacific halibut fishery, which is managed under the similar programs such as the federal IFQ program and various state programs. Although sablefish came to be managed under IFQs at the same time as halibut, the outcomes of IFQ implementation in this fishery have not received as much as attention as in the halibut fishery. Even twenty years after IFQ implementation, there is little published research on the impacts of IFQs on prices and revenues for sablefish. In this thesis project, I have described the various sablefish fisheries within Alaska and the international market conditions. A simultaneous equation market model for sablefish is developed to examine linkages between harvests, prices and revenues. The model is then used to examine the Alaska exvessel price and revenue effects that result from changes in landings, changes resulting from the implementation of the IFQs and changes to the Japanese economy.