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ISER enhances the well-being of Alaskans and others, through non-partisan research that helps people understand social and economic systems and supports informed public and private decision-making.

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ISER Alaska Rural Broadband Workshop

Posted on November 19th, 2014

Dr. Heather E. Hudson, professor of communications policy at ISER, will chair a workshop providing current information on broadband plans and policy issues for rural Alaska, with panels on technology projects and opportunities in microwave, optical fiber, wireless, and satellite; and policy issues such as state initiatives, federal programs, and U.S. Arctic Council proposals.

When: Monday, December 15, 2014 @ 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Where: Diplomacy Building 301, 4500 Diplomacy Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508

Registration: The registration fee is $75. Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/alaska-rural-broadband-workshop-tickets-14434551131.

If you are outside Anchorage and wish to participate by teleconference, please contact Prof. Heather Hudson at hehudson@uaa.alaska.edu.

November 19 Talk at ISER: Applying Ecological Economics

Posted on November 17th, 2014

Ecosystem services is the term often used to describe goods and services we get from ecosystems—like salmon habitat or clean air. These things are valuable, but they aren’t usually bought or sold in the marketplace. Ecosystem service valuation assigns a dollar value to them. David Batker, executive director of Earth Economics, talks about the tools being used to identify and value ecosystem services. Such valuation can help policymakers as they make decisions about resource management and sustainable economic development.

Research Matters No. 84: Health-Care Benefits: A Survey of Alaska Employers

Posted on October 24th, 2014

A new report by Mouhcine Guettabi, Rosyland Frazier, and Gunnar Knapp of ISER analyzes the results of a survey of Alaska employers about what health-care benefits they offer employees. The Alaska Department of Labor conducted the survey, which covered businesses, local governments, and school districts statewide. The Alaska Health Care Commission contracted with the department and ISER for the work. The report finds, among other things, that two-thirds of Alaska businesses don’t provide health-insurance, and the reason they cite most often is no surprise: it’s too expensive. And although about a third of employees at Alaska firms work part-time or seasonally, very few of them carry employer-based insurance. Of those employees carrying insurance through their employers, 95% are full-time workers and only 5% are part-time or seasonal.

Download the report, Alaska Employer Health-Care Benefits: A Survey of Alaska Employers (pdf, 1.9MB), by Mouhcine Guettabi, Rosyland Frazier, and Gunnar Knapp. A summary, Snapshot of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in Alaska (pdf, 669.9KB), by the same authors, is also available. If you have questions, get in touch with Mouhcine Guettabi at mguettabi@alaska.edu or 907-786-5496.

A Free Public Forum, October 4: Less Money and Higher Costs

Posted on September 24th, 2014

Alaska Common Ground and ISER recently sponsored a non-partisan public forum, with analysts from government, the University of Alaska, and private industry discussing choices the state government will likely face as pressure on the state budget increases. Oil from Alaska’s North Slope has supported the state’s government and economy for decades. But oil production has been dropping—at the same time population and state spending have been growing and the government’s debt obligations, pension liabilities, and other costs have been increasing.

Now you can watch panel discussions from the October 4 forum on Alaska Common Ground’s website.

Incentives and Assumptions: Comparing Alaska’s Oil Production Taxes

Posted on August 7th, 2014

Alaskans will soon vote on whether to keep the state’s new oil production tax, known as SB 21, that went into effect this year, or to go back to the previous tax, called Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES). A new analysis by Matthew Berman, professor of economics at ISER, looks broadly at how the new tax compares with the tax it replaced, examining not only how future state revenues might differ under the two systems, but also other differences—how the two compare with older production tax regimes and how government-industry relationships vary under the two systems.

He finds that SB 21 has a number of drawbacks, compared with earlier systems, including its administrative complexity and its low effective tax rate for new oil—which means that the state’s percentage share of the value of the oil is likely to decline over time. He identifies the one major problem with ACES as its high effective tax rates, which could hamper new investment.

Overall, Dr. Berman concludes that the tax system in place before ACES—the Petroleum Profits Tax, replaced by ACES in 2007—is arguably a better fit for Alaska, because it had neither the high tax rates of ACES nor the administrative complexity of SB 21.

Download the full analysis, Comparing Alaska’s Oil Production Taxes: Incentives and Assumptions (PDF, 684KB). If you have questions, get in touch with Gunnar Knapp, ISER’s director, at gpknapp@uaa.alaska.edu or 907-786-7717.

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To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey

To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey

Available for ordering now, with October 2012 publication date. To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey, by Victor Fischer, with Charles Wohlforth.

The George Rogers Emerging Scholars Fund

The George Rogers Emerging Scholars Fund was established at ISER in 2011 to encourage young scholars and promote research opportunities in Alaska. It honors the memory of George Rogers, an economist and guiding light of ISER for half a century.

Donate to the fund.
George Rogers

Alaska Native Language Map A digital edition of the map, Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska, is now available. It is a joint project of the Alaska Native Language Center and ISER, based on ground-breaking Alaska Native language maps created by Michael E. Krauss in 1974 and 1982. Printed copies are available from ANLC.

An interactive version is also available on ISER's Alaskool website.

Download an informational flyer about the Indigenous People and Languages of Alaska map.
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