Now showing items 21-40 of 9789

    • Socioeconomic Review of Alaska's Bristol Bay Region

      Lowe, Marie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      This report provides a “desktop” socioeconomic and sociocultural review of the Bristol Bay Region prepared for the North Star Group by the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Using secondary sources, the report characterizes the local population and its history by examining events that have influenced social change and how locals have adapted to that change. It reviews current social and economic issues in the region to provide a context for potential future mining development. Part 1 presents a regional overview with a description of Bristol Bay’s cultural history, demography, economy, institutions, and development context. Part 2 provides a more detailed overview of Bristol Bay’s sub-regions, accompanied by statistics about participation in subsistence activities, commercial fishing and other employment, and local use of public assistance.
    • Renewable Power in Rural Alaska: Improved Opportunities for Economic Deployment

      Crimp, Peter; Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (2007)
      Sharp increases in the price of distillate fuel have led to wider economic opportunities for local renewable energy resources in the over 180 rural Alaskan communities that are served by electrical microgrids isolated from larger population centers. Between 2002 and 2007 the median price of diesel fuel for utility power generation in rural Alaska increased by 72% to $0.71/l ($2.70/gal). During this period the median unsubsidized residential cost of power increased by 20% to $0.468/kWh. The Alaska Rural Energy Plan, based on 2002 fuel costs, indicated widespread opportunities for cost-saving measures from end use efficiency, diesel generation efficiency, diesel combined heat and power, and wind energy. This paper assesses economics of small hydroelectric, wind-diesel, and biomass-fired combined heat and power under a range of future oil price assumptions.
    • Reindeer Markets in the Circumpolar North: An Economic Outlook

      Humphries, John (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      The commercial production of caribou and reindeer meat is relatively small; it is estimated that less than 175,000 animals are harvested annually. Reindeer husbandry or commercial caribou hunts occur in seven circumpolar countries: Canada, Finland, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States yet total production is still very low. Properly processed reindeer meat is seen as a high-end luxury or specialty meat in all those countries except Russia. In addition to hide, both male and female reindeer produce horns, which are valuable and can be sold for between 4 and 14 dollars per pound. Overall, reindeer herding and caribou hunting has had wildly varying levels of success, although they seem to be struggling across the globe. This paper provides an economic analysis of the reindeer industry, so we can better understand its challenges, successes, and structure, examine the total size and production of the market, and evaluate the socio-economic tradeoffs between subsistence and commercial harvests. This paper examines the reindeer markets in Canada, Finland, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, and Alaska, though most emphasis is placed on North America. Russia has been left out of this analysis, due to the scale and complexity of reindeer herding in Russia and the difficulty of obtaining information on the subject. The first part of this paper will estimate total global production and will examine international trade and price discrepancies. Then three forms of herding and two forms of hunting in commercial operations will be reviewed. The current market structures in North American countries will be examined next. The fourth part of this paper will examine the state of the industry and the factors that affect its production choices on a global level. Finally, the choice between subsistence and commercial production will be examined from an economic viewpoint.
    • Municipality of Anchorage Baseline Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Base Year 2008

      Kelcie, Ralph; Welker, Marcus (Municipality of Anchorage, 2009)
      The Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) conducted a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory with a 2008 base year in order to quantify the results of initiatives to reduce the MOA’s current carbon footprint, place those initiatives into a broader strategic plan, and measure reductions going forward. The MOA conducted the carbon baseline because it is a signatory of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Over 710 U.S. Mayors have signed the agreement. Under the agreement, Anchorage must attempt to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets of 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012, encourage their state governments and federal government to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets, and urge the U.S. Congress to pass greenhouse gas reduction legislation establishing a national emissions trading system. The greenhouse gas emissions inventory is the first step for Anchorage to begin measuring the reductions of greenhouse gases as the MOA strives to meet the 7% reduction goal by 2012. The MOA chose to adopt the framework developed by the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) for measuring progress toward reduction goals because of its wide use, standardized methodology, and proven results. The ICLEI strategy has been adopted worldwide by over 1,000 communities working toward meet Kyoto Protocol carbon emission reduction targets.
    • Evaluation of the Alaska Interagency Aviation Safety Initiative

      Berman, Matthew; Martin, Stephanie; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Aviation crashes are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in Alaska. From 1990 through 1999, aviation crashes in Alaska caused 106 work-related pilot deaths. This rate is nearly five times the rate for U.S. pilots as a whole.1 In 2000, Congress passed legislation aimed at reducing the number of occupational aviation fatalities in Alaska by 50 percent for the years 2000 through 2009. This legislation created an interagency initiative—the Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative—to improve safety in Alaska through the combined efforts of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), the NOAAs National Weather Service (NWS), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The final Initiative tasks require the agencies to evaluate the programs created to promote aviation safety in Alaska. To that end, NIOSH contracted with the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). The following report looks at programs, infrastructure changes, accidents and accident rates between 1997 and 2004. It addresses the following questions: • Has flying become safer in Alaska? • Which types of flying (e.g., general aviation, commuter vs. air taxi flights) are the most risky, and which have shown changes in safety? • Where in Alaska is it most risky to fly? Has this changed? • To what extent can the data show that specific programs are associated with improved safety?
    • 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.
    • Understanding Alaska: People, Economy, and Resources

      Foster, Mark; Cravez, Pamela; Cole, Terrence (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Understanding Alaska is a special series of studies by the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), to examine economic development issues and help Alaskans understand how their economy works. The studies began in 2001, and here we highlight some of the work so far. The University of Alaska Foundation has provided most of the funding for Understanding Alaska which examines how Alaska’s economy works, why it’s different from those in other states, and how Alaska’s unique circumstances affect economic development. This publication divides Understanding Alaska research into three categories: People, Economy, and Fisheries. At the end of each section is a list of the full reports or presentations excerpted for this overview. In some cases, we’ve updated information specifically for this publication.
    • The Remote Rural Economy of Alaska

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      Statewide descriptions of the Alaska economy are dominated by the much larger urban areas and cannot convey a sense of the unique features of the remote rural part of the state. And although there has been much written about the economy of remote Alaska, much of it is out of date or not well-grounded in the current economic realities of the region. Without a comprehensive description of the economy, discussions of economic development strategies are not possible. This description is a snapshot of the region as a whole, as distinct from the rest of Alaska. At the same time it recognizes the great variations in climate, terrain, culture, economic activity, opportunity, and well-being within the region. The description relies on published economic information about the region, which varies from good to sparse to non-existent, due to the vast size, small population, remote location, and complexity of the economic structure of the region. Consequently, the description is at best an approximation, constructed from all available published sources. No primary data collection was undertaken for this analysis.
    • 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 Economic Importance of Alaska Labor Union Pension Funds

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Labor union retirees could choose to live anywhere and those that remain in Alaska and collect their pensions in Alaska add to total economic activity. Pension distributions are one important source of purchasing power that flows into Alaska supporting households and generating income and jobs in a wide range of economic sectors. In this way union pension payments are similar to the wages paid in our natural resource export industries like petroleum, mining, and fishing and to the distributions made through the Permanent Fund Dividend program. All of these bring new money from outside the state into Alaska where it becomes income for Alaskan households. When these households then spend this income, sales, jobs, and payrolls are generated in trade, services, construction, and other sectors of the local economy. As these dollars re-circulate through the local economy, additional sales, jobs, and payroll are generated through the process known as the multiplier. The size of the annual infusion of purchasing power into the economy from labor union pension funds, although modest in comparison to some other sources, is not insignificant. For example, in 2004 the union pension fund infusion of $147 million was about one-quarter as large as the distribution from the Alaska Permanent Fund. It was about 50 percent larger than the payroll of the mining industry.
    • 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.
    • The Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline: What's It All About?

      Gorsuch, Lee; Tussing, Arlon R.; Persily, Larry; Larsen, Peter; Goldsmith, Scott; Foster, Mark; Fischer, Victor; Colt, Steve; Bradner, Tim; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Alaska has collected nearly $100 billion in oil revenues (adjusted to today’s dollars) since it became a state. Almost all those revenues have been from oil produced on the North Slope, where the largest known oil field in the U.S. was discovered in 1968. Construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline in the 1970s made development of that oil possible. The North Slope also has one of the largest accumulations of natural gas in the country—and for 30 years Alaskans have been hoping for construction of a second pipeline, to carry that gas to market. Gas pipelines have been proposed at times over the years. But none has been built, because investors did not think it was economic. Now, with higher natural gas prices and changes in the North American market, many people think a gas project may be possible. Alaska stands to gain a ot if a gas pipeline is built—a new long-term source of state revenues; more jobs and increased business activity; an increased local property tax base; and a potential new in-state source of natural gas for home heating, electricity, and industrial uses. With future supplies of natural gas from Cook Inlet uncertain, many Alaskans want one or more “spur” pipelines to be built from the main pipeline, to make natural gas available to Alaska communities. But access to the gas will come at a price, and not all Alaskans will benefit equally.
    • Survey of Living Conditions In The Arctic: What Did We Learn?

      Duhaime, Gerard; Jack, Kruse; Poppel, Birger; Abryutina, Larissa; Hanna, Virgene; Martin, Stephanie; Poppel, Marie Katherine; Ward, Ed; Kruse, Marg; Cochran, Patricia; et al. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      In countries around the Arctic, tens of thousands of Iñupiat, Inuit, and other indigenous peoples live in small, isolated communities where jobs are scarce, incomes are low, and life is not easy. Yet many—including large majorities in Canada, Northern Alaska, and Greenland—are satisfied with life in their communities. That was the puzzle researchers from Statistics Greenland faced in 1994, when they studied living conditions and found that common measures of well-being—like levels of employment—didn’t explain why so many of Greenland’s Inuit chose to stay in their communities. About 7,250 Inuit, Iñupiat, and other indigenous peoples were interviewed in Greenland, Northern Alaska, the Chukotka region of Russia, and the Inuit settlement areas of Canada. The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) conducted the survey in Alaska. This publication describes the survey and introduces the wealth of new information now available on the lives of the Arctic’s first people, measured in ways they themselves chose. Also printed in Valerie Moller, Denis Huschka and Alex Michalos (eds). Barometers of Quality of Life Around the Globe: How Are We Doing? New York: Springer Verlag, 107-134.
    • Kids Count Alaska 2005

      Hanna, Virgene; Lampman, Claudia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      Over the past 15 years, Alaska’s children as a group have gotten older, more racially diverse, and more international. The total number of children in Alaska increased about 11% between 1990 and 2004, but the number of children ages 9 and younger dropped 8% and the number ages 10 to 18 rose 40%. During the same period, the number of children from minorities—the largest minority being Alaska Native—increased 75%, while the number from immigrant families was up nearly half. This year we show a snapshot of Alaska children in foster care. These are mostly children the state Office of Children’s Services (OCS) has taken, either temporarily or permanently, out of their parents’ homes—because the children were judged to be in “immediate” danger or their parents couldn’t be located. In some cases, parents voluntarily put their children into foster care, and in rare cases parents abandon children. The number of children in foster care varies throughout the year, as some children are returned to their parents’ custody and others come into the foster care system. Some are adopted and others age out of the system.
    • Kids Count Alaska 2003

      Hanna, Virgene; Lampman, Claudia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      This year's spotlight for the Kid's Count Alaska Data Book is child health. As many as 12,000 more children in Alaska could qualify for a government-funded program that provides health care coverage for children without health insurance, according to a non- profit group working to let more Alaskans know about the program. Denali KidCare is an extension of Medicaid for children from uninsured families whose income is somewhat too high to qualify them for Medicaid. In 2003, children whose family income was less than 175 percent of the federal poverty level could apply. About 22,000 children were enrolled in the program during 2002, and the estimate of 12,000 additional children who could be eligible is based on U.S. census information about family income. The 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that Alaska high-school students are only about half as likely to use inhalants or smoke cigarettes as they were in 1995, and significantly less likely to drink, to fight, and to have sex without using condoms. The decline in inhalant use is especially welcome news, since sniffing gasoline fumes has killed a number of teenagers in Alaska Native villages in recent years. Students in Alaska are also now less likely than students nationwide to use inhalants—and to smoke or get into fights. On almost all measures, fewer Alaska students reported risky behavior in 2003 than in 1995, the last time this survey was administered in school districts statewide. So the recent news is good, but many high-school students are still putting their health—especially their long-term health—and safety at risk.
    • How Much Might Climate Change Add to Future Costs for Public Infrastructure?

      Goldsmith, Scott; Larsen, Peter; Smith, Orson; Wilson, Meghan; Strzepek, Ken; Chinowsky, Paul; Saylor, Ben; Leask, Linda; Merill, Clemencia (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      Scientists expect Alaska’s climate to get warmer in the coming years— and the changing climate could make it roughly 10% to 20% more expensive to build and maintain public infrastructure in Alaska between now and 2030 and 10% more expensive between now and 2080. These are the first estimates of how much climate change might add to future costs for public infrastructure in Alaska, and they are preliminary.
    • Economic Significance of the Alaska Railroad

      Tuck, Bradford; Killorin, Mary (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      This report estimates the economic effects of Alaska Railroad spending in Alaska, for both operations and capital projects. The Alaska Railroad is a major part of the transportation network in Alaska and also between Alaska and the Lower 48. It connects with rail service from the rest of the U. S. and Canada via its port facilities in Whittier and ships coal and naphtha to Asia via the port of Seward. The railroad carries both passengers and freight, but it is freight that accounts for most of the railroad’s operating revenue. It carries large volumes of a variety of freight. In recent years, petroleum products the railroad hauls from the North Pole refinery to the Anchorage area have made up much of its freight volume. For many years it carried several hundred thousand tons of coal per year between Healy and Seward, for export to Korea, and it continues to haul coal from Healy to Fairbanks. It also hauls a significant portion of the gravel used in the Anchorage bowl from the Mat-Su Valley. The railroad is able to carry these large volumes of freight more efficiently and at lower cost than trucks—and so it facilitates current economic activity and can help make future developments feasible. Our estimates of the economic effects of railroad spending in Alaska are based on annual average spending of $108 million from 2001 through 2003. If railroad spending increased, it would support more jobs and income; if spending dropped, it would cost the state jobs and income.
    • Evaluation of the Outcomes in Three Therapeutic Courts

      Carns, Teresa White; McKelvie, Susan; Miller, Jenny; Marrs, Emily R.; Atwell, Cassie; Martin, Stephanie (Alaska Judicial Council, 2005)
      The legislature asked for this report when it created the Anchorage Felony DUI Court and the Bethel Therapeutic Court. The Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health, funded the evaluation at the request of the governor. Thus it is a report that exemplifies inter-branch collaboration on an important policy issue in the criminal justice system.
    • 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.
    • Alaska's New Petroleum Production Tax

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      The Alaska legislature enacted a major change to the state system of taxation for oil and gas on August 6, 2006, retroactive to April 1, 2006. The new tax, passed after several false starts in the third special session of the year, would replace a tax on gross wellhead production value of oil and a tax on gross wellhead value of gas with a single tax on net income earned at the wellhead. This article attempts to put the decision in context. It discusses some of the major issues related to oil taxes, summarizes the historical pattern of state petroleum revenues, and considers the consequences of the major features of the current tax proposals. We examine the new PPT in the context of these three big questions, comparing patterns and trends over time in Alaska and relative to other states and nations. There is no perfect tax mechanism, and each question involves a principal tradeoff.