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How Has the Permanent Fund Dividend Affected Poverty in Alaska?

Matthew Berman, professor of economics, has studied that question. See his presentation (PDF, 749KB).

What's Happened to the Alaska Economy Since Oil Prices Dropped?

Mouhcine Guettabi, assistant professor of economics at ISER, examines jobs losses from early 2014 through early 2016, statewide and by area and economic sector. Download his paper (PDF, 752KB).

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How Permanent Fund Dividends Reduce Poverty in Alaska

Posted on December 21st, 2016

Permanent Fund dividends—payments the state makes to virtually all residents annually—lifted about 25,000 Alaskans out of poverty in 2015, reducing poverty in Alaska by about a third. Since 1990, PFDs have reduced poverty rates in Alaska by an estimated 2.5 to 4 percentage points annually. They have been particularly important for children, Alaska Natives, and rural residents, who are much more likely to be poor than Alaskans on average.

Those are estimates that Matthew Berman, a professor of economics at ISER, and Random Reamey, an ISER research professional, developed for their analysis of how PFDs have reduced poverty in Alaska over the past 25 years. They made their own estimates, because they discovered that the U.S. census data federal agencies use to calculate poverty rates for Alaska don't include all PFD income. So they adjusted census data to include all PFD income, and then estimated poverty rates with and without PFDs.

Download the summary (PDF, 955KB) or the full analysis (PDF, 994KB). If you have questions, call Matthew Berman at 907-786-5426.

Lunchtime Talk: Strong Opinions, Weak Understanding: How Does Knowledge Shape Educators’ Attitudes about Teacher Tenure?

Posted on December 2nd, 2016

The Alaska Department of Administration contracted with the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) at ISER to study teacher salary and tenure issues in Alaska. As part of that broad study, CAEPR and ISER researchers explored attitudes and opinions about teacher tenure in Alaska. Please join us to hear what these researchers learned about how much teachers and principals understand (or misunderstand) about tenure policy in Alaska.

When: Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room,
Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Those who can’t attend in person can stream the talk live at: http://stream.iseralaska.org

Lunchtime Talk: Tradable Emissions Permits to Reduce Pollution: How Might Methods of Allocating Permits Affect Investment Decisions?

Posted on November 25th, 2016

Many countries are now using emissions-trading schemes as a policy to reduce pollution cost-effectively. But what incentives do tradable-permit markets offer companies to make investments in advanced pollution-abatement technology? Timothy Cason, the Rasmuson Chair of Economics at UAA this semester, and a colleague from the UK recently investigated that question through experimental economics.

The researchers used a laboratory experiment to assess how two methods of allocating tradable permits—auctioning permits or grandfathering them—might affect businesses’ decisions about investing in new technology to reduce pollution. Please join us at ISER to learn what they found.

When: Thursday, December, 1, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room,
Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Those who can’t attend in person can stream the talk live at: http://stream.iseralaska.org

Lunchtime Talk: Activity Trackers for Kids:  Are Kids More Active if They Get More Feedback?

Posted on November 14th, 2016

The Anchorage School District and Providence Alaska Medical Center have made wearable activity trackers available for Anchorage school students who choose to use them. Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at ISER, is assessing how wearing these devices affects physical activity among school kids. In a recent experiment, he gave students in grades three through six different levels of access to feedback from the activity trackers. Some students could go online any time to get information, but others could get feedback only once every two weeks. Join us at ISER to hear Dr. Guettabi discuss whether having more access to feedback made kids more active.

When: Friday, November 18, 12 to 1
Where: ISER Conference Room, Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

What’s Happened to the Alaska Economy Since Oil Prices Dropped?

Posted on November 9th, 2016

Alaska lost nearly 2,300 jobs—about 1% of all wages and salary jobs— from March 2014 through March 2016. But not all areas of the state and sectors of the economy lost jobs. In a new paper, Mouhcine Guettabi, assistant professor of economics at ISER, examines jobs losses statewide and by area and economic sector. This is the first in a series of short papers that will examine various economic and fiscal issues important to Alaska.

Download the paper (PDF, 752KB). If you have questions, call the author at 907-786-5496 or email him at mguettabi@alaska.edu.

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