10,045 research outputs found

    Cultural Continuity and Communities and Well-Being

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    This paper describes a household survey of Inuit in northern Alaska and how the survey data were used to better understand the relative importance of jobs, wild food harvesting, and social ties for life satisfaction. It emphasizes the importance of non-material measures for life satisfaction. It builds on other research showing the importance of harvesting wild food and the persistence of a mixed economy—one that combines cash income and wild food harvests. An empirical model estimates the relationship between people's choices to work, and/or hunt and fish, and individual satisfaction with life. The model includes economic and non-economic measures of well-being as well as community characteristics and shows that what matters most for satisfaction are family ties, social support and opportunities to do things with other people. Jobs, income, housing, and modern amenities—are less important among arctic Inuit. This research addresses the purpose for the original survey project—to give a more realistic picture of life in the Arctic by showing why people who live in remote, isolated, communities, with low incomes, and substandard housing are very satisfied with their lives. It also contributes to public policy in remote regions and efforts to understand how people are adapting in a rapidly changing environment.Abstract / Introduction / Methods / Data / Modeling Subsistence, Jobs, and Well-Being / Conclusions / ReferencesYe

    Indigenous social and economic adaptations in northern Alaska as measures of resilience

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    I explored one aspect of social-ecological change in the context of an Alaskan human-Rangifer system, with the goal of understanding household adaptive responses to perturbations when there are multiple forces of change at play. I focused on households as one element of social resilience. Resilience is in the context of transition theory, in which communities are continually in a process of change, and perturbations are key points in the transition process. This case study of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, USA, contributes to the understanding of cultural continuity and household resilience in times of rapid change by using household survey data from 1978 to 2003 to understand how households adapted to changes in the cash economy that came with oil development at the same time as a crash in the caribou population and state-imposed limits on caribou harvests. The research illustrates that households are resilient in the way they capture opportunities and create a new system so that elements of the old remain while parts change.Ye

    A preliminary Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) study of magnetite surface microtextures from the Wahianoa moraines, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand.

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    Scanning electron microscope (SEM) of quartz micro‐textures has routinely been used to identify the depositional environment of sediments in areas of former ice‐sheet glaciation. On volcanic mountains, where the geomorphic origin of ridge deposits is often poorly understood, quartz is much less abundant, so SEM analysis has not been used as a depositional discriminator. Preliminary research on surface micro‐textures of abundant magnetite grains from the Wahianoa moraines, south‐eastern Mt Ruapehu, suggests that SEM of magnetite may be useful in determining the process‐origin of deposits. We describe micro‐textures and surface characteristics of samples of magnetite, and our study shows that many of the micro‐textures visible on quartz, thought to be diagnostic of glacial transport, are present on magnetite too. However, evaluating whether SEM analysis of magnetite is an applicable technique will require a better understanding of the microtextures occurring on known glacial, fluvioglacial and aeolian deposits on volcanic mountains

    Youth in Crisis Characteristics of Homeless Youth Served by Covenant House Alaska

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    This research is the result of a partnership between Covenant House Alaska and the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, as part of a national effort, initiated by Covenant House Institute, to create partnerships between Covenant House service providers and academic institutions. This report documents trends in use of Crisis Center at Covenant House Alaska and the characteristics of its clients. Use of Crisis Center, measured by visits and length of stay, has been increasing since 2003. The number of youth coming to Covenant House Crisis Center from outside of Anchorage is increasing, as is the number Alaska Natives served by Covenant House. Data indicate that many after aging out of foster care, many youth end up at Covenant House. Similarly many who receive mental health care outside of the state, return to Alaska and end up at Crisis Center. Few have high school diplomas or GED and three out of four are unemployed.Covenant House Alask

    An Assessment of the Division of Juvenile Justice's Use of the Youth Level of Services/ Case Management Inventory

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    In June, 2010, the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (Division) invited the Alaska Judicial Council and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at University of Alaska Anchorage to assist “in understanding how scores on the Division’s assessment instrument for juveniles, the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), reflect the actual recidivism of juveniles who’ve received services from the Division.” Other states had shown that YLS/CMI scores could be helpful in predicting recidivism among the youths they served, but Alaska had not yet done the comparable research. ISER and the Council agreed that the questions proposed would provide valuable information and help the Division to better address the reasons for youth recidivism.The Division of Juvenile Justice.Executive Summary / Introduction / Part 1: Research background and design / Part 2: Findings / Part 3: Summary and Conclusions / Appendice

    Pension Funding, Share Prices, and National Saving

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    This paper examines empirically the effect of unfunded pension obligations on corporate share prices and discusses the implications of these estimates for national saving, the decline of the stock market in recent years, and the rationality of corporate financial behavior. The analysis uses the information on inflation-adjusted income and assets that large firms were required to provide for 1976 and subsequent years. The evidence for a sample of nearly 200 manufacturing firms is consistent with the conclusion that share prices fully reflect the value of unfunded pension obligations. Since the conventional accounting measure of the unfunded pension liability has a number of problems (which we examine in the paper), it would be more accurate to say that the data are consistent with the conclusion that shareholders accept the conventional measure as the best available information and reduce share prices by a corresponding amount. The most important implication of the share price response is that the existence of unfunded private pension liabilities does not necessarily entail a reduction in total private saving. Because the pension liability reduces the equity value of the firm, shareholders are given notice of its existence and an incentive to save more themselves. For this reason, unfunded private pensions differ fundamentally from the unfunded Social Security pension and the other unfunded federal government civilian and military pensions.

    Fuel Costs, Migration, and Community Viability

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    ISER researchers compiled and reviewed existing studies and data sources relating to the economic and social viability of remote rural Alaska communities. We particularly looked for possible linkages between high fuel costs and migration. Our review indicates the following: (1) migration from smaller places toward larger places is an ongoing phenomenon that is more noticeable when birth rates drop; (2) there is no systematic empirical evidence that fuel prices, by themselves, have been a definitive cause of migration; (3) the pursuit of economic and educational opportunities appears to be a predominant cause of migration; (4) however, currently available survey data are not sufficient to definitively determine other reasons for migration, which could include concerns about public safety and/or alcohol abuse; 5) most of the survey data pre-date the latest rapid increase (2006-2008) in fuel prices. We suggest several ways that better data could be collected on community viability and the reasons for migration.First Alaskans Institute. Alaska Native Policy Center.Introduction / Methods / Findings / Significant data collection opportunities / Conclusions / References / Data Sources Use

    Resolving 3D Disk Orientation using High-Resolution Images: New Constraints on Circumgalactic Gas Inflows

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    We constrain gas inflow speeds in star-forming galaxies with color gradients consistent with inside-out disk growth. Our method combines new measurements of disk orientation with previously described circumgalactic absorption in background quasar spectra. Two quantities, a position angle and an axis ratio, describe the projected shape of each galactic disk on the sky, leaving an ambiguity about which side of the minor axis is tipped toward the observer. This degeneracy regarding the 3D orientation of disks has compromised previous efforts to measure gas inflow speeds. We present HST and Keck/LGSAO imaging that resolves the spiral structure in five galaxies at redshift z0.2z\approx0.2. We determine the sign of the disk inclination for four galaxies, under the assumption that spiral arms trail the rotation. We project models for both radial infall in the disk plane and circular orbits onto each quasar sightline. We compare the resulting line-of-sight velocities to the observed velocity range of Mg II absorption in spectra of background quasars, which intersect the disk plane at radii between 69 and 115 kpc. For two sightlines, we constrain the maximum radial inflow speeds as 30-40 km s1^{-1}. We also rule out a velocity component from radial inflow in one sightline, suggesting that the structures feeding gas to these growing disks do not have unity covering factor. We recommend appropriate selection criteria for building larger samples of galaxy--quasar pairs that produce orientations sensitive to constraining inflow properties.Comment: 15 pages with 8 figures and 2 tables; accepted for publication in Ap

    Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model: Expanded Version

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    In this paper, we study Ramsey-optimal fiscal and monetary policy in a medium-scale model of the U.S.\ business cycle. The model features a rich array of real and nominal rigidities that have been identified in the recent empirical literature as salient in explaining observed aggregate fluctuations. The main result of the paper is that price stability appears to be a central goal of optimal monetary policy. The optimal rate of inflation under an income tax regime is half a percent per year with a volatility of 1.1 percent. This result is surprising given that the model features a number of frictions that in isolation would call for a volatile rate of inflation---particularly nonstate-contingent nominal public debt, no lump-sum taxes, and sticky wages. Under an income-tax regime, the optimal income tax rate is quite stable, with a mean of 30 percent and a standard deviation of 1.1 percent. Simple monetary and fiscal rules are shown to implement a competitive equilibrium that mimics well the one induced by the Ramsey policy. When the fiscal authority is allowed to tax capital and labor income at different rates, optimal fiscal policy is characterized by a large and volatile subsidy on capital.