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Products: Hawaii's Economy

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UHERO County Forecast: Uneven Recovery Continues

Hawaii's county economies turned the corner in 2010, led by rapidly improving visitor sectors. The recovery will broaden and deepen in 2011, but performance will be uneven.

A summary of this forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed analysis, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Japanese Quake Won't Derail Recovery

The Japanese earthquake has led to a pause in visitor industry growth, but unless we see a further spike in oil prices, Hawaii's economic recovery will continue to build strength.

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UHERO Brief: The Macroeconomic Aftermath of the Earthquake / Tsunami in Japan?

The unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan makes any assessment of the near term outlook highly speculative. In coming weeks, as data on the extent of damage to Japan and Hawaii’s tourism industry is collected, UHERO will analyze the impact of the crisis on the near term outlook for Hawaii. In this UHERO Brief, UH economist Ilan Noy asks what research based on previous natural disasters can tell us about the likely long-run macroeconomic impact on Japan.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Rail Will Add to Momentum

As last year's strong tourism rebound tapers off, Oahu rail transit work will lead an upturn in construction. Hawaii's recovery will strengthen and expand beyond the visitor industry to the broader economy.

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The Impact of Civil Unions on Hawaii's Economy and Government

This report provides quantitative and qualitative measures of the impact of same-sex civil unions on the Hawai`i economy, Hawai`i businesses, and the State of Hawai`i’s budget. More specifically, we examine the effect of civil unions on tourism arrivals to Hawai`i; state government revenues and expenditures; employer provision of health insurance to civil union partners and their dependents; and the family with civil union partners. We conclude that the legalization of civil unions in Hawai`i will have only a very minimal impact on any aspect of Hawai`i’s economy and state government operations.

Working Paper


Construction Forecast: Rail Construction Will Spur Industry Pick-Up

Private construction has largely stabilized in the islands and is poised for limited growth. But the big impetus for construction on Oahu will come from rail transit. Assuming no additional delays, the rail project will lead to a sharp pick-up in construction beginning later this year, and the construction job base will approach its 2007 peak level by 2015. Expansive government infrastructure spending will amplify what was already a building outlook that favors Oahu relative to the Neighbor Island economies.

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UHERO Brief: Honolulu Rail Transit: Do the Benefits Justify the Costs?

Preliminary considerations suggest a high degree of uncertainty about whether the benefits of rail justify the costs. As the conversation about rail costs advances, we should continue to consider the relative size of the benefits.

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KITV Project Economy: Tourism on Oahu and Neighbor Islands

Carl Bonham talks about tourism on Oahu and neighboring islands.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Hawaii's Two-Speed Recovery

Recovery edges forward in the Islands, for now primarily in tourism and mostly on Oahu. But the very rapid tourism rebound will begin to spill over to the rest of the economy in 2011. Hawaii's economy continues to recover, but in  very uneven fashion. Tourism is providing ongoing positive surprises with recent months rivaling the level of activity prior to the Aloha and ATA failures. 

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Global Economic Forecast: World Recovery Falters

Global economic recovery is proceeding, but in an uneven fashion. The developing Asian countries that were the first to show signs of life last year continue to expand at a healthy pace, driven by rebounding trade but also by strong domestic demand. Growth in the developed world remains decidedly subpar and insufficient to bring about a timely reduction in unemployment. With the pace of U.S. growth weakening in recent months and fiscal stimulus winding down, prospects are for slower growth in much of the world in 2011. True to form, recovery from the recent financial crisis is shaping up to be a long slog.

Forecast summary


UHERO Brief: China's Real Estate Bubble

What will be the consequences of China’s real estate bubble deflating? One is tempted to equate the Chinese real estate bubble with the U.S. experience, but the differences between the Chinese and American real-estate and financial sectors are striking and will likely lead to a very different, and a much more moderate, outcome.

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UHERO State Forecast Update: Strong Summer for Tourism

Hawaii's recovery continues, led by a better-than-expected performance from tourism. The visitor industry's summer strength is sustaining moderate job gains in related sectors. Much of the rest of the state economy remains relatively weak, and we continue to see net job losses in some areas. The cooling of growth in the U.S. and overseas markets will be a challenge for tourism over the next year. We expect continued Hawaii expansion, but at a restrained pace through 2011.

A summary of this forecast is available as a service to the public. For more detailed analysis, subscribe to UHERO's Forecast Project.

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Technical Progress in Transport and the Tourism Area Life Cycle

Richard Butler’s tourism area life cycle envisions tourism destinations to evolve in stages from exploration to rapid growth followed by slackening, stagnation, and even decline. The eventual slow-down in tourism growth is attributed to the destinations reaching their physical and social carrying capacities. This article examines the evolution of Hawaii as a tourism destination from 1922 to 2009. We demonstrate that tourism growth in Hawaii has declined but not because the destination has reached its carrying capacity but primarily because of the slowdown in technical progress in passenger air transportation and competition from newer destinations. We conclude that for destinations that depend on transportation improvements to attract tourists, technical progress in transport may provide a better explanation of the evolution of their destinations than their carrying capacities.

Working Paper

 


Construction Forecast: Construction Begins to Stabilize

Hawaii's construction industry continues to seek a bottom to what has been a bruising downturn. Recent months have brought some encouraging news, with permitting numbers beginning to stabilize and employment losses tapering off. The home resale market appears healthier, although this can be explained in part by the now-expired Federal tax credits. At the same time, non-resedential permitting remains very weak and focused on just a small number of large projects. Until private demand picks up, the industry will find its most promising support in public sector projects, which are expected to ramp up further in coming months.

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Limits to Growth: Tourism and Regional Labor Migration

The paper provides a methodology for considering the carrying capacity and limits to growth of a labor-constrained mature tourism destination. A computable general equilibrium model is used to examine the impacts of visitor expenditure growth and labor migration on Hawaii's economy. Impacts on regional income, welfare, prices, sector-level output, and gross state product are considered under alternative migration scenarios. Labor market constraints impose limits to growth in real visitor expenditures. Labor market growth with constrained visitor demand generates falling per capita household welfare.  

working paper

 


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