Research Matters #56: High Oil Prices Give Alaskans a Second Chance: How Will We Use This Opportunity?

Since 2005, Alaska’s state government has collected as much in oil revenues as it did during the huge oil-revenue boom of the early 1980s: a combination of high oil prices and changes in the way the state calculates production taxes has created a second huge oil-revenue boom. But the oil creating this wealth is dwindling. That oil is from huge, low-cost oil fields on state-owned land, including the Prudhoe Bay field, and it has supported much of the economy and paid for most state government operations for decades.…

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Research Matters #55: Alaska’s Health-Care Bill: $7.5 Billion and Climbing

Health-care spending in Alaska reached about $7.5 billion in 2010, according to new estimates by Scott Goldsmith of ISER and Mark Foster of Mark A. Foster and Associates. For comparison, that’s close to half the wellhead value of all the oil produced in Alaska in 2010. The definition of health-care spending is broad, including not only spending for hospitals, doctors, and medical tests, but also prescriptions, nursing homes, medical equipment, and more.…

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Research Matters #54: Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska

A new edition of the ground-breaking map showing the traditional indigenous language regions of Alaska—and related languages of neighboring areas of Canada and Russia—is now available. It is the first revision in nearly 30 years and was generated with geographic information system (GIS) technology. The map is the joint product of researchers at UAF’s Alaska Native Language Center and UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. This work updates the map originally compiled in 1974 by Michael Krauss, then director of the language center, and last updated in 1982.…

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Research Matters #53: Alaska Energy Statistics 1960-2008

A new report from the Institute of Social and Economic Research, prepared for the Alaska Energy Authority, looks in detail at electricity in Alaska as of 2008, the most recent year for which federal statistics are available. The report, by Ginny Fay, Alejandra Villalobos Melendez, and other ISER researchers, examines how much electricity individual utilities generated in 2008, with what types of fuel, at what electric rates, and with what level of CO2 emissions.…

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Research Matters #52: Oil Pumps Alaska’s Economy to Twice the Size—But What’s Ahead?

Think about this: if oil had never been discovered on the North Slope, Alaska’s economy today would be about half as big. And to keep the economy healthy as time goes on, Alaska needs new oil production: nothing else—including North Slope natural gas—can replace oil in the state’s economy. These are the findings of a new paper by Scott Goldsmith, professor of economics at ISER.…

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