Lunchtime Talk: Do Isolated Areas of Alaska Benefit from Local Resource Developments?

Much of the natural-resource development in Alaska happens in isolated, rural areas. Do local residents get jobs and other benefits from those developments? Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at ISER, is assessing that question in two papers he is currently working on.

In the first paper, he is using employment by place of work and by place of residence to determine whether local residents of an isolated borough with oil development get a share of the new jobs created when oil prices spike up. In the second, he is looking at the causal effects of the Red Dog mine on employment, wages, and other measures in the Northwest Arctic Borough, where the mine has been operating since the 1980s.

Please join us at ISER to hear what he has found so far.

When: Friday, April 28, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room
Third floor, 1901 Bragaw St., Suite 301

Parking is free. Call 907-786-7710 if you need directions.

Those who can't attend in person can stream the talk live at:

Posted in News

How Do Alaskans Cover Their Medical Bills?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been at the top of the news lately, with Congress considering but then dropping proposed changes. Congress will try again to change the ACA—but it’s uncertain how or when. A new overview by Linda Leask, Rosyland Frazier, and Jessica Passini of ISER brings together information from many sources to describe health-care coverage Alaskans have now, and how ACA provisions have changed that coverage.

The Harold E. Pomeroy Public Policy Endowment supported their research. Download the summary, How Do Alaskans Cover Their Medical Bills? (PDF, 663.8KB)

If you have questions, call Linda Leask, ISER's editor, at 907-786-5425.

Posted in News

Energy Costs and Rural Alaska Out-Migration

Does expensive home-heating fuel cause people to move out of rural Alaska communities and into urban areas? Yes, but not as many as anecdotal reports might lead you to expect. Matthew Berman, professor of economics at ISER, found that for each $1 increase in fuel prices, fewer than 40 adults a year moved from rural to urban places. He also found that people's employment status and earnings, and local labor market conditions in general, had much more influence than high fuel prices on their decisions to leave rural places.

This is the first study to use statistical testing to assess whether high fuel prices prompt people to leave rural Alaska communities. The analysis was based on adult Permanent Fund Dividend applications for 2003 through 2015, and was funded by the Alaska Energy Authority.

Download the study, Energy Costs and Rural Alaska Out-Migration (PDF, 137.3KB), by Matthew Berman. If you have questions, get in touch with the author at or call 907-786-5426.

Posted in News