News and Announcements
Scott Goldsmith, Professor Emeritus of Economics at ISER, spoke with Abbey Collins of Alaska Public Radio Network last week about increased construction spending in Alaska, particularly increases in petroleum and national defense spending. These increases, along with spending as a result of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in November, are contributing to what Goldsmith estimates to be about a 10% increase in construction spending over 2018. Goldsmith's estimates of spending by sector are available in the 16th annual construction forecast, prepared for the Associated General Contractors of Alaska.
Tourism in Alaska is a growth industry, with much of the revenue generated below the Arctic Circle. But the Arctic’s unique natural environment and tourists’ desire to see the Arctic before it changes – sometimes called “last chance tourism” – is drawing more and more travelers above the Arctic Circle. The increase in nature-based tourism offers Arctic communities around the world development opportunities, but also risks to community and environmental systems. A new paper coauthored by Jennifer Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management and Policy at ISER, looks at factors important to community resilience in the face of growing tourism [...]
For the last 37 years, Alaska residents have received a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD), but it is only recently that researchers have begun to analyze the effect of the PFD on the socio-economic well-being of Alaskans. In a new paper, Mouhcine Guettabi, associate professor of economics and ISER faculty, summarizes the research, including his own, on what is known of the PFD’s effect on employment, consumption, income inequality, health, and crime. While Guettabi provides an overview of what is known, he adds that there is significant room for improving our understanding of the PFD, especially its effect on education, health care [...]
Ralph Townsend, ISER director, gave presentations on Alaska’s economy and the state budget (PPTX, 701KB) to the Board of Directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives, CIRI’s Tikahtnu Forum and the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce in early May. Townsend’s main areas of discussion included employment and the state budget, the inter-relationship between the Earnings Reserve Account, Permanent Fund Dividend, and the state budget, and how changing demographics will shape Alaska’s future economy. […]
Dual enrollment programs provide access to college-level courses to high school students prior to graduation, often helping students become more successful in high school and easing their path to college. Between 2008 and 2017, University of Alaska (UA) dual enrollment programs experienced an 85% increase in student enrollment and, among those who graduated from high school, 41% went on to attend a UA institution within a year. Though UA dual enrollment programs have grown more representative, a persistent participation and performance gap exists for rural and Alaska Native students. […]
A new study of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) program shows that an additional $1,000 PFD decreases the probability of an Alaskan child being obese by as much as 4.5 percentage points, translating to about a 22% reduction in obesity. […]