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Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID

We employ granular information on local macroeconomic conditions from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to estimate the impact of the Great Recession on health and health-related behaviors. Among working-aged adults, a one percentage point increase in the county-level unemployment rate resulted in a 2.4-3.2% increase in chronic drinking, a 1.8-1.9% decrease in mental health status, and a 7.8-8.9% increase in reports of poor health. Notably, there was heterogeneity in the impact of the recession across socioeconomic groups. Particularly, obesity and overweight rates increased for blacks and high school educated people, while there is weak evidence that they decreased for whites and the college educated. Along some dimensions, the Great Recession may have widened some socioeconomic health disparities in the United States.

WORKING PAPER


Hawaii News Now: Carl Bonham on BIA "Still Houseless in Honolulu" Summit

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham joins Howard Dicus on Sunrise to discuss Hawaii's housing shortfall and his presentation for the Building Industry Association of Hawaii's 2016 summit, "Still Houseless in Honolulu."

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Desperately Seeking Housing: Presentation from BIA's "Still Houseless in Honolulu" 2016 Summit

Carl Bonham presented "Desperately Seeking Housing" at BIA's "Still Houseless in Honolulu" summit on November 15, 2016.

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Do Natural Disasters Make Sustainable Growth Impossible?

We consider the prospects for sustainable growth using expected utility models of optimal investment under threat from a natural disaster. Extension of a discrete, two-period model, to continuous time over an infinite time horizon permits the analysis of sustainability under uncertainty regarding adverse events, including both one-time and recurrent disasters. Natural disasters, with destruction of productive capital, disrupt the optimal consumption and utility paths, but the Arrow et al. (2004) sustainability criterion is still satisfied even without adding strong or weak sustainability constraints. We also consider a separate natural resource sector and show that, except for extreme cases, the optimal steady state level of the renewable resource is not affected by the possibility of natural disasters. In the case of catastrophic events, however, damage to the resource system may be severe enough to push the system below a critical value tipping point, undermining the prospects of long-run sustainability.

WORKING PAPER


Hawaii News Now: Carl Bonham on the Hawaii Construction Forecast

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham joins Howard Dicus on Sunrise to discuss the HawaiiConstruction Forecast: Building Cycle Approaches Peak.

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Hawaii Public Radio: Sumner La Croix on Why It’s Always Been Expensive To Buy a Home in Hawaii

UHERO fellow Sumner La Croix appears on HPR to talk about why it's always been expensive to buy a home in Hawaii.

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The Conversation: Carl Bonham on the Hawaii Construction Forecast

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham appears on The Conversation to talk about the Hawaii Constuction Forecast: Building Cycle Approaches Peak.

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Hawaii Construction Forecast: Building Cycle Approaches Peak

Construction has accelerated over the past year and will approach its cyclical peak over the next. Jobs and income are now growing at double-digit rates, driven by strength across all major sub-sectors and, increasingly, all counties. Increments to growth will be much smaller going forward, and activity will begin to fall off by 2018 as the surge in resort and condo building wanes, costs for builders and homebuyers mount, and global economic conditions become less favorable.

This analysis and near-term forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Hawaii Growth Downshifting

Hawaii’s economy continues to roll along, but with signs of a slowdown ahead. The environment for tourism remains guarded, and the maturing of the construction cycle will remove what has been a major impetus for growth. Compared with recent experience, average rates of growth for jobs and income will trend lower over the next several years.

This analysis and near-term forecast was provided to Sponsors and Subscribers as part of the UHERO Construction Forecast. For more detailed multi-year forecasts, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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Global Value Chains and Changing Trade Elasticities

The trade collapse of 2008-2009 and the anemic trade growth since then raise the question of whether trade elasticities may be undergoing fundamental structural change. A potential source of such change is the spread of global value chains (GVCs), which have brought a marked increase in the use of intermediate goods and changes in the nature of trade competition. We review the recent literature on the impact of GVCs on measured trade elasticities and the ways in which their emergence may affect how we estimate and interpret trade responsiveness. We then draw out a few implications of recent research for global modeling.

WORKING PAPER


The Conversation: Carl Bonham on Potential Problems with Monetary Policy in the Future & Long Term Lack of Inflation

UHERO Executive Director Carl Bonham appears on The Conversation to talk about whether low interest rates and low inflation have become the new normal.

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Estimating the Opportunity for Load-Shifting in Hawaii: An Analysis of Proposed Residential Time-of-Use Rates

Hawaii’s largest electric utility, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and its subsidiaries recently proposed a Time of Use (TOU) pricing scheme for residential rates. The TOU scheme has three tiers of prices: daytime, on-peak, and nighttime. The proposed rates have the highest cost during the on-peak period from 5pm to 10pm. For Oahu, the lowest cost is at nighttime, from 10pm to 9am. The difference between high and low rates is $0.33/kWh. For Maui and Hawaii Island, the lowest cost is during the daytime, 9am to 5pm. The difference between high and low rates are $0.35/kWh and $0.50/kWh, respectively. It is not stated whether the rates will be implemented as an opt-in, opt-out or mandatory program. This report summarizes literature on time varying pricing for residential rates to inform Hawaii’s electricity stakeholders, including ratepayers and policy-makers, of the potential impacts and considerations regarding the potential for TOU pricing in Hawaii.

Working Paper


Electric Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Assessment for Hawaii

This study estimates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of electric vehicles (EVs) compared to that of other popular and similar cars in Hawaii, by county over an assumption of 150,000 miles driven. The GHG benefits of EVs depend critically on the electricity system from which they derive their power. The analysis shows that EVs statewide are an improvement in GHG emissions over similar and popular internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). Due to Oahu’s relatively high dependence on fossil fuels, including coal-burning, however, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) offer an improvement over EVs. Notably, Oahu also has the most EVs on the road. Hawaii Island, where there are few EVs on the road, shows a clear GHG benefit from EVs because of its high penetration of low carbon sources for electricity. This difference in benefits suggests that policies supporting EV uptake should consider impacts per island, based on available types of electricity generation. For example, because EVs on Hawaii Island provide near to mid-term GHG benefits, there should be assessment of provision of fast-charging stations to overcome potential range anxiety. Until Oahu substantially transitions towards greater penetration of renewable sources for electricity, it may be too early to tout EVs on Oahu as a GHG emissions reduction strategy. This of course depends on the type of vehicle from which drivers switch to EVs. If EV drivers largely pull from potential HEV consumers, as is suggested in prior studies, then there is no gain in GHG emissions reduction. On the other hand, if EV consumers switch from ICEVs, there are GHG emissions savings. Oahu’s electricity generation mix must become similar to that in carbon intensity of Kauai and Maui to make high performing EVs at least comparable to high performing HEVs in GHG emissions.

Read the full report at the Electric Vehicle Transportation Center.


Assessing the Costs of Priority HISC Species in Hawaii

Over the past decade, funding for the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) has ranged from less than $2 million per year in the three years following the recent economic downturn, up to almost $6 million in FY2015. The HISC website provides total award amounts for past projects, but it is difficult to attribute exact dollar amounts to specific species for projects that target multiple species. As a starting point, we consider the number of times each invasive species was designated as a target over the period FY2005-2015. While this list does not necessarily represent species that generated the largest economic damages or species for which the most spending has occurred, it is a list of species getting the most attention by HISC. For the most part, the top ten have remained fairly consistent over time, although in recent years, axis deer, albizia, and ivy gourd have received noticeably more attention.

PROJECT REPORT


By the Time I Get to Arizona: Estimating the Impact of the Legal Arizona Workers Act on Migrant Outflows

In 2007, the State of Arizona passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) which required all employers to verify the legal status of all prospective employees. Replicating existing results from the literature, we show that LAWA displaced about 40,000 Mexican-born people from Arizona. About 25% of these displaced persons relocated to New Mexico indicating that LAWA had externalities on adjoining states.

WORKING PAPER


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