Alaska fiscal issues

Below are some of my publications, reports and presentations on Alaska fiscal issues.

Reflections on Alaska’s Fundamental Fiscal Choices.  May 5, 2021. I gave this presentation “virtually” (by Zoom) for the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Clubs of Alaska.  A video recording of the presentation is at

Alaska’s Fiscal Challenge and Choices.  This is the fourth of five presentations for a short course on The Economy of Alaska which I taught in October and November of 2019 for the Anchorage organization OLÉ! (Opportunities for Lifelong Education).  It summarizes how Alaska’s finances have changed and the choices which they will force us to make between government spending, dividend spending, broad-based taxes and resource taxes.

Alaska Fiscal Facts and Choices. This is a presentation I gave on February 13, 2018 for the Mat-Su College Northrim Lecture Series.

Gunnar Knapp. Elements of a Credible Alaska Fiscal Plan.  Alaska Dispatch News.  June 4, 2017. I wrote this article for the “Ideas” section of the Alaska Dispatch News, June 4, 2017.

Gunnar Knapp. Realities of Alaska’s Fiscal and Economic Challenges and Options.  This is a presentation I gave on April 17, 2017 for the Fairbanks Economic Development Council.

Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Program-Economic Effects and Public Attitudes (1984)

This 1984 report, which I co-authored with Scott Goldsmith, Jack Kruse, and Gregg Erickson, was the first formal analysis of effects of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Program.


Below are selected references which I have found useful for studying Alaska fiscal issues.

Alaska Revenues

Alaska Department of Revenue’s Revenue Sources BooksThese are very useful and detailed sources of information about state revenues.   The annual fall reports include detailed information about Alaska’s historical revenue sources as well as projections of future revenues.  The spring reports are much shorter and provided updated projections of future revenues.

Fall 2016 Revenue Sources Book

Spring 2017 Revenue Sources Book


To understand Alaska fiscal issues it is important to listen to the wide range of perspectives of Alaskans about these issues.   Below are selected articles from Alaska newspapers, magazines and other sources which help to illustrate different perspectives.  I do not necessarily agree or disagree with any of these perspectives.

Glenn Cravez. Alaska legislators need to hear from you.  Alaska Dispatch News.  June 20, 2017. This is a very well-written opinion piece by an author who argued that the real choices Alaskans faced as of June 2017 were about broad-based taxes and use of Permanent Fund dividend earnings, and that further cuts to government spending (advocated by “conservatives”) or increases in oil taxes (advocated by “liberals”) could make only a limited contribution towards resolving Alaska’s fiscal imbalance.

Nat Herz. The Alaska Legislature’s budget standoff, explained. Alaska Dispatch News. June 17, 2017. This is as clear an explanation as I’ve seen of the Alaska legislature’s budget standoff as of mid-June 2017.

Charles Wohlforth. Here’s how forces acting on the Alaska Legislature led to failure on the fiscal gap. Alaska Dispatch News. June 14, 2017. This is a useful perspective on the goals of different groups in Alaska’s fiscal debate.