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What Do We Know About Alaska's Economy and Where It's Headed?

See the presentation (PDF, 2.3MB) to the 2017 Alaska Legislature by Mouhcine Guettabi.

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Lunchtime Talk. Chinese Consumers’ Preference for Alaska Salmon: Does It Make a Difference to Tell Respondents Their Answers Might Influence Policy?

Posted on September 19th, 2017

Surveys often ask people to assign a value to some specific thing, by estimating how much they’d be willing to pay for it. But there can be a difference between what people say they would pay, and what they would pay, if they actually had to buy something. Economists call this “hypothetical bias,” and they try various ways to overcome it. One way is telling respondents their answers are consequential—that is, their answers can potentially influence actions of agencies or organizations.

Qiujie “Angie” Zheng, an associate professor of economics at UAA, incorporated this notion of consequentiality in a choice experiment in 2015. She worked with colleagues in other U.S. and Chinese universities to survey more than 1,000 shoppers at supermarkets in three Chinese cities, to assess their willingness to pay for Alaska salmon. Currently, little Alaska salmon is available in China.

Join us at ISER to hear what Dr. Zheng learned about Chinese consumers' perceptions about Alaska salmon, and how they value specific characteristics of that salmon.

When: Friday, September 22, 12 to 1
Where: ISER Conference Room, Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Note: This talk will not be streamed or recorded.

Lunchtime Talk: Valuing Residential Energy Efficiency in the Anchorage Real Estate Market

Posted on September 14th, 2017

Alaska households on average use more energy—and spend more for it—than households nationwide. But making houses more energy-efficient can reduce both how much energy Alaskans use and how much they spend for it. Also, making houses more energy-efficient may increase their sales price, if the energy savings are capitalized into the value of the houses.

Dominique Pride, a postdoctoral fellow at UAF's Alaska Center for Energy and Power, will talk about the results of two studies investigating the relationship between energy efficiency and single-family home prices in the Anchorage real estate market.

We apologize that Dominique Pride's lunchtime talk did not live-stream as we had planned. A similar presentation she did, discussing her research on valuing energy-efficiency in the Anchorage residential market, is available below.

Lunchtime Talk: Melting the Ice Curtain

Posted on September 6th, 2017

Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula is just a few miles across the Bering Strait from northwest Alaska, and indigenous peoples traditionally traveled back and forth across the strait. But the border between Alaska and Chukotka was essentially closed for decades, during the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Then, in the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union and took steps to improve relations with the West.

Some Alaskans took that change as an opportunity to re-open ties with the Russian Far East. In his new book, Melting the Ice Curtain, David Ramseur describes these Alaskans as “citizen diplomats,” and tells the story of how cooperation at the individual level between Alaskans and Russians did for a time build better relations between Alaska and the Russian Far East. David Ramseur is currently a visiting scholar in public policy at ISER, but at the time of thawing Alaska-Russia relations, he was the press secretary for Steve Cowper, then governor of Alaska. He traveled to Provideniya, in the Chukotka region, on the 1988 Alaska Airlines "Friendship Flight," which carried a group of Alaskans on a cultural exchange. Join us to hear him talk about this important time in Alaska-Russia relations.

Lunchtime Talk: Developing a Climate Action Plan and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for Anchorage

Posted on August 11th, 2017

Sponsored by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, ISER, and The Nature Conservancy

The Municipality of Anchorage asked UAF's Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) to develop a climate action plan and an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for Anchorage. Those documents will be included in a broad resilience initiative the city is currently working on. ACEP—in partnership with ISER and The Nature Conservancy—hired Jacob Shercliffe as a summer intern, to draft the two documents.

Jacob Shercliffe is an economics student at UAA. The staffs of ACEP, ISER, and The Nature Conservancy advised him as he drafted the action plan and the emissions inventory. Now he is ready to deliver the draft documents to the city, which will release them for public comment in October. In his lunchtime talk, Jacob will describe how he created the two documents and the progress he made. He'll also talk about how Anchorage residents can get involved in determining how the city deals with climate change.

When: Friday, August 18, 12 to 1 p.m.
Where: ISER Conference Room, Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Note: This talk will not be live streamed or recorded.

Gunnar Knapp and Michelle Bartlett Awarded 2017 Bullock Prize for Excellence

Posted on August 2nd, 2017

Gunnar Knapp speaking

Gunnar Knapp, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, and Michelle Bartlett, director of UAF's Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning program, have been awarded the 2017 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence. The UA Foundation awards the prize annually to recognize excellence in support of the University of Alaska. Gunnar Knapp was a faculty economist at ISER from 1981 to June 2016, and also directed ISER from 2013 until he retired in June 2016. He is internationally recognized for his research on fisheries markets and management, but in recent years he focused on helping Alaskans understand the gravity of the fiscal crisis the state government faces.

Describing the prize as "a most pleasant surprise," Gunnar Knapp said, "I'm deeply gratified, and humbled, to be recognized in this way. I was privileged, throughout my career, to work with outstanding colleagues at ISER on ever-fascinating and important Alaska policy issues. I thank them for everything they taught me and all the ways they helped me—and for their continuing service to Alaska. It has been wonderful to be a part of UAA's growth into a thriving and vibrant university serving Alaskans in so many ways."

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