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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 Moving In May

Posted on April 28th, 2015

ISER is moving to 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301, in the first week of May. The new location is near East High School and about two blocks from the intersection of Northern Lights Blvd. and Bragaw Street. It may be harder to get in touch with us the first few days of May, but we will be checking messages.

The Path to a Fiscal Future: Use Earnings from All Our Assets

Posted on April 23rd, 2015

The state government's assets could generate enough earnings in fiscal year 2016 to pay the Permanent Fund dividend, boost the size of the Permanent Fund, and cut the expected General Fund deficit from $3.3 billion to just over $1 billion—which would still be a big fiscal challenge but much more manageable. That's the finding of a new analysis by Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER.

Those state assets consist of money in the Permanent Fund and other accounts as well as the value of state-owned petroleum still in the ground. Dr. Goldsmith estimates that after first paying the dividend and adding to the Permanent Fund, the state could put $2.2 billion in remaining earnings in the General Fund, which pays for public services. Right now the state uses only current petroleum revenues and smaller sources to cover General Fund spending—but those revenues are expected to fall $3.3 billion short of the estimated $5.5 billion in spending next year.

Read the analysis, The Path to a Fiscal Future: Use Earnings from All our Assets (PDF, 661.6KB). If you have questions, get in touch with Scott Goldsmith at osgoldsmith@alaska.edu or call 907-786-7720.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

Kids Count Alaska Data Book Released

Posted on March 26th, 2015

kca2013smThe 2013-2014 Kids Count Alaska data book reports that teenagers in the state commit crime at only about half the rate they did 20 years ago, and that Alaska is one of the safest places in the country to be born, with the share of babies born at low birthweight 25% below the national average.

The new data book includes much more information on the health, safety, education, and economic status of Alaska's children and teenagers. Virgene Hanna, a senior researcher at ISER, directs Kids Count Alaska, which is part of the nationwide KIDS COUNT program, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The foundation sponsors programs in all 50 states, presenting data from many sources on the well-being of American children.

Download the data book (PDF, 2.5MB), or request a printed copy from ISER at 907-786-7710. If you have questions, get in touch with Virgene Hanna at 907-786-5431 or mhanna7@uaa.alaska.edu.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

The Most Important Things to Understand About Alaska’s Fiscal Situation

Posted on January 30th, 2015

The fall in oil prices has led to growing concern among Alaskans about the state's fiscal situation. To help Alaskans better understand this critical issue, Gunnar Knapp, ISER's director and a professor of economics, has been making a presentation to organizations around Alaska.

Download the full presentation (pdf, 1.7MB) or a summary (pdf, 467.7KB), The Most Important Things to Understand About Alaska's Fiscal Situation, by Gunnar Knapp. The presentation will be updated over time. If you have questions, get in touch with Gunnar Knapp at 907-786-7717 or Gunnar.Knapp@uaa.alaska.edu.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

Alaska’s 2015 Construction Spending Forecast

Posted on January 30th, 2015

Construction spending in Alaska will be an estimated $8.5 billion in 2015, down about 3% from spending in 2014. That's according to the 2015 construction spending forecast, by Scott Goldsmith and Pamela Cravez of ISER. That forecast is done annually for the Construction Industry Progress Fund and the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, with funding from Northrim Bank. The authors find:

• Overall construction spending will remain strong in 2015, despite the recent steep drop in oil prices. That's partly because there is still a backlog of projects funded under large state capital budgets in earlier years.

• Forecasting how much oil companies will spend for capital projects in Alaska is especially difficult this year. The companies had earlier announced plans to increase spending 18%. But the low oil price will likely force some cutbacks, so spending is forecast to stay about the same as last year.

• Private spending for commercial and residential construction is likely to be down in 2015, in the face of slowing job and population growth and uncertainty about oil prices.

Download Alaska's 2015 Construction Spending Forecast (pdf, 1.8MB), by Scott Goldsmith and Pamela Cravez. If you have questions, get in touch with Scott Goldsmith at osgoldsmith@uaa.alaska.edu.

A presentation given by Mouhcine Guettabi and John MacKinnon in Anchorage on January 29, 2015 and Fairbanks on January 30, 2015 is also available for download (PDF, 1.8MB).

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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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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