Investing for Alaska's Future
The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) in the College of Business and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage is carrying out a special research initiative, under a continuing grant from Northrim Bank. Scott Goldsmith, professor of economics at ISER, directs the initiative, studying the importance of investment for building a strong Alaska economy.
This research initiative is to help Alaskans better understand the relationship between government policies and economic development, help inform investment decisions, and monitor state economic and fiscal conditions. The results are being made available to the public in a series of reports.
Why is this initiative necessary? It is critical research right now, because the things that have brought Alaska prosperity in the past generation won't be enough for the future. For decades, Alaska has been blessed with a strong economy driven primarily by oil production and federal government spending. But today, even with the high oil price, Alaska's economic future is uncertain. Oil production continues to decline, and federal spending can no longer be depended on to shore up the economy through the short-term "shots in the arm" Alaskans have grown used to.
The state's other natural-resource sectors—mining, fishing, tourism—are important, but aren't nearly large enough to carry our economy in the way oil and federal dollars have. Many Alaskans are pinning their hopes on a natural-gas pipeline, which will be an important piece of the state's future development. But it remains an uncertain prospect, and by itself is not enough to provide a healthy economic future.
So what can Alaska do to ensure a healthy economy as time goes on? Invest its current resources to build a strong base of physical and human assets. Those assets will generate the private-sector jobs and the public-sector tax base that together can bring Alaska prosperity in future decades. And because much of Alaska's resource base is publicly owned or controlled, government—and ultimately, Alaska citizens—will have a crucial role in fostering smart and timely investments that lead to economic development.
Research done through this initiative will help Alaskans better understand how to successfully invest for the future. The research spans six areas:
* Alaska Economics 101: This research provides, for the first time, a complete quantitative description of the activities that drive the Alaska economy. It forms the basis for building the analytical models that will relate the activities of government to the growth of the private economy.
- Research Summaries
- What Drives the Alaska Economy? #13, December 2008
- Detailed Reports
- Structural Analysis of the Alaska Economy: What are the Drivers?, REVISED March 2010
- The Alaska Economy: How Does It Work? Institute of the North, February 2012.
- What Drives the Alaska Economy? Presented to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, January 2009
* How Petroleum Has Transformed the Alaska Economy: Few Alaskans today know what the state economy looked like before the Prudhoe Bay oil discovery. This analysis demonstrates just how much of our current economic prosperity depends on petroleum.
- Research Summaries
- Oil Pumps Alaska's Economy to Twice the Size - But What's Ahead? #17, February 2011
- Detailed Reports
- The Role of Petroleum in the Alaska Economy, IN PROCESS
- The Importance of Petroleum to the Alaska Economy: A Gedanken Experiment, Regional Science Association International, November 2009
- Alaska Without Petroleum: A Preliminary Run of a Gedanken Experiment, Western Regional Science Association, March 2009
- Petroleum in Alaska's Future: Why Should Rural Alaska Care? Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference, February 2012
- Petroleum and the Alaska Economy—Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, June 2011
- Alaska’s Petroleum Industry: Transformative, But is it Sustainable?—House Finance Committee, Alaska State Legislature, March 2011
- How Petroleum Has Transformed the Alaska Economy, Anchorage South Rotary, May 2010
- Petroleum and the Future of the Alaska Economy--Resource Development Council, December 2009
- How Petroleum has Transformed the Alaska Economy--Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, July 2009
- How North Slope Oil Has Transformed Alaska’s Economy, Alaska's Oil and Gas Symposium, September 2008.
- How North Slope Oil Transformed Alaska's Economy, Resource Development Council, November 2007.
* Monitoring the Health of the Economy: ISER provides continuing analysis of the long-term health of the economy.
- Web Notes
- Federal Spending in Alaska: Running Out of Steam? #11, May 2012
- Four Scenarios for Alaska's Future, #8, May 2011
- How Vulnerable is Alaska's Economy to Reduced Federal Spending? #2, July 2008
- Research Summaries
- High Oil Prices Give Alaskans a Second Chance: How Will We Use this Opportunity?, ISER anniversary issue, September 2011
- Alaska after Prudhoe Bay: Sustainability of an Island Economy, Western Regional Science Association, March 2011
- Alaska's Economy: The Challenge Ahead. Presented to Bankruptcy Attorney, Anchorage, September 2013.
- Alaska's Economy: The Challenge Ahead. Presented to BP Citizen's Action Program (CAP), Anchorage, July 2012.
- Alaska's Economy: The Challenge Ahead. Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, October 2011.
- Alaska's Petroleum Industry: Transformative, But is it Sustainable? Northrim Economic Update Luncheon, Juneau-Anchorage-Fairbanks, April 2011
- Alaska’s Economic Future: What role for a North Slope Natural Gas Pipeline?, Forum on the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, May 2011
- Lessons Learned from Solving an Alaska Economic Puzzle. Presented to the Meet Alaska Conference, January 2010
- Looking Ahead at the Alaska Economy Presented at the Clean Energy in Alaska Conference, May 2009
- Alaska After Prudhoe Bay: Prospects for the Economy, Council of Petroleum Accountants Society, April 2009
- Alaska Economy How Are We Doing, Presented to Alaska House Resources Committee, October 2007
* Tracking Alaska's Fiscal Performance: ISER continues to monitor the fiscal condition of the state, with special attention to the question of whether the state is saving and investing enough to sustain necessary public expenditures as oil production continues to decline—while at the same time fostering a strong private economy.
- Web Notes
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: FY 2014 Update, #14, January 2013.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: Wealth Management for the "Owner State," #13 , August 2012
- TAPS at 35: Accounting for the Oil Revenues, #12, July 2012
- Managing Alaska’s Petroleum Nest Egg for Maximum Sustainable Yield, #10, March 2012
- Revising the State Fiscal Plan to Account for Petroleum Wealth, #9, May 2011
- How Much Should Alaska Save? #7, February 2011
- Detailed Reports
- The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend: A Case Study in the direct Distribution of Resource Rent, with financial support from the Revenue Watch Institute, January 2011
- Managing Extractive Resource Wealth for Sustainability: Lessons from Alaska Seen Through the Lens of Maximum Sustainable Yield, Western Regional Science Association, February 2012
- Managing Extractive Resource Wealth for Sustainability: Alaska in the Time of Falling Oil Production, Presented at International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VII) in Akureyri, Iceland, June 2011
- The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend: A Case Study in Implementation of a Basic Income Guarantee, Basic Income Earth Network Congress, July 2010
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: A Fiscal Road Map for Alaska, University of Alaska Budget Committee, August 2013.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: A Fiscal Road Map for Alaska, Alaska Oil and Gas Association, May 2013.
- Implementing a State Fiscal Plan: Tracking Maximum Sustainable Yield, House Finance Committee of Alaska State Legislature, April 2013.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: A Fiscal Road Map for Alaska, Senate Finance Committee of Alaska State Senate, March 2013.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: Wealth Management for the "Owner State," Alaska Foresters, March 2013.
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: Wealth Management for the "Owner State," Commonwealth North, February 2013
- Maximum Sustainable Yield: Wealth Management for the "Owner State," Commonwealth North, November 2012
- Alaska Petroleum Revenues: Coping with Uncertainty, Law Seminars International, December 2010
- Alaska's Economic and Fiscal Structure, presented to House Finance Committee of Alaska Legislature, March 2010
- Should Alaska Adopt Maximum Sustainable Yield?, debate sponsored by Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, November 2013.
- Alaska State Fiscal Policy Agenda, for Alaska House Finance Special Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy, 2011
- Fiscal Problem Statement, for Alaska House Finance Special Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy, 2011
* The Importance of Investment to Alaska's Economic Future: This research documents the importance of private investment in creating sustainable economic growth, the role of the public sector in fostering private investment, and the relationship between public policies and economic activity. Using formal models and analytical tools, it demonstrates the long-term economic effects of current public policy choices.
- Petroleum: Jobs and Revenues, Alaska House Resources Committee, February 2013
- Forum on State Funding of Energy Projects, Commonwealth North, November 2013.
- Workshop on Alternative Wealth Management Strategies: Alaska, Alberta, and Norway, Anchorage, July 2013.
* Citizen's Guide to the Petroleum Industry: Managing Alaska's publicly owned petroleum assets requires an understanding of how the petroleum industry works as well as current and projected future activity. This guide will help Alaskans better manage the assets that so much of our economic future depends on.
Contact Scott Goldsmith for more information on this project.