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Listen to the World's top economists discuss their research and deconstruct global economic trends.

Listen to the World's top economists discuss their research and deconstruct global economic trends.
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Washington, DC


Listen to the World's top economists discuss their research and deconstruct global economic trends.




Global Financial Stability Report: Volatility, Protectionism Raising Risks

The Global Financial Stability Report, or GFSR, is published twice a year and looks at the risks facing the global financial system. The objective is to prevent future crises by highlighting policies that might help mitigate some of those risks. In this podcast, the IMF’s Fabio Natalucci suggests investors stay attuned to risks associated with rising interest rates and protectionism. Natalucci heads the team of economists who write the overview chapter of the GFSR. The report also looks...


Hackathons: Technology Can Help Africa Collect More Taxes

While the word hack sounds nefarious there’s nothing sinister about a hackathon. It is a creative brainstorming event that brings together people from the private sector, government, academia, civil society and technical experts to devise solutions to help governments raise revenues. In this podcast, economist Katherine Baer talks about her recent experience in hackathons in Senegal, Uganda and Ivory Coast, and how new technologies can help those governments collect more taxes. Katherine...


Rachel Glennerster: The Cost of Conflict

Economic shocks and climate change increase the risk of conflict. If current trends continue, 80 percent of the world’s poorest people will live in fragile states by the year 2030. This means the work of development will increasingly be about how to prevent conflict and how to achieve positive change in post-conflict and fragile states. In this podcast, DfID’s chief economist Rachel Glennerster, says economists need to get better at understanding these risks and predicting conflict. Before...


Losing Your Cool: How Hotter Days Can Increase Crime and Disrupt Economies

Some economists would argue that extreme weather can increase criminal behavior by reducing incomes—especially in the agriculture sector. But in this podcast, economist Gordon McCord says the psychological effect of higher temperatures on violent behavior plays a prominent role. McCord is coauthor of a study that uses data from homicides in Mexico spanning 15 years, and considers the impact of a cash transfer program on reducing interpersonal violence on hot days. He presented his ...


Good for Women Good for Growth: Closing Nigeria’s Gender Gap

Promoting gender equality can be an economic game changer. The IMF’s latest economic review of Nigeria’s economy says closing the gender gap would mean higher growth and productivity, and greater economic stability. In this podcast, IMF economist and coauthor, Monique Newiak, says Nigerian women could help transform the economy given the chance. The report says Nigeria suffers from wide-spread gender inequality and is therefore missing out on a key ingredient to economic success. Newiak...


Nigeria Exits Recession and Looks Beyond Oil

Nigeria’s economy is picking up according to the IMF’s latest economic review. Growth hit 0.8 percent in 2017 after contracting by 1.6 percent in 2016. The report attributes the increase—in part—to the recent recovery in oil prices. But as the country emerges from recession, the IMF’s Amine Mati says following through on planned reforms regardless of oil price swings and upcoming elections, is key to lifting Nigeria’s growth rates to where they should be. Mati heads the IMF team for...


James Cust on Oil Discoveries: Managing Expectations

Major discoveries of oil and gas deposits have always been cause for celebration in developing countries, in anticipation of the potential financial windfalls. But research has shown that countries with abundant revenues from natural resources often tend to have less economic growth and more social problems than do non-resource-rich countries. And in this podcast, World Bank economist James Cust says in many cases, economic growth begins to underperform long before the first drop of oil is...


A Dream Deferred: Inequality Across Generations in Europe

Incomes for Europe’s youth declined after the 2007 global financial crisis—largely due to unemployment. And while things have recovered somewhat, the trend toward short-term work and less stable jobs has meant incomes have not grown and young people are now more likely to fall into poverty. Meanwhile, Europeans 65 and older have seen incomes increase by 10 percent. New research by IMF staff looks at this Growing Inequality and Poverty Across Generations in Europe, and how it could have...


Sub-Saharan Africa’s Push to Diversify

In the new world of lower commodity prices, many sub-Saharan African countries are having to diversify their economies. And while sub-Saharan Africa has had periods of rapid growth, the process by which workers move from low-productivity jobs to better paying higher productivity jobs has been slower than in other regions. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa devotes an entire chapter to studying the potential benefits of a stepped-up diversification agenda. In...


The Economics of Populism: Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

Populism has become a bit of a buzz word of late. It’s often at the very center of debates about politics and elections. But what about the economic implications of populism? That was the subject of a seminar at this year’s American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting. The panel was organized by the IMF’s Antonio Spilimbergo, and included economic heavyweights Dani Rodrik, Raghuram Rajan, and political scientist Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. In this Podcast, Kaltwasser says populism is...


William Maloney: The Innovation Paradox

While technology is reshaping economies around the world, a recent book published by the World Bank suggests developing countries are missing out on a huge opportunity. In this podcast, economist William Maloney, says the potential returns on investment into Research and Development by developing countries are astounding, and could dwarf international aid flows. Yet, developing country firms and governments invest very little toward realizing this potential. Maloney is Chief Economist for...


Drones Proving a Lifeline in Rwanda

There are many layers to development. Sometimes there’s a need where the solution is not at all obvious. But other times it’s simply about connecting the dots- when the solution is available but out of reach due to the lack of infrastructure like roads, power lines or telephone wires. Technology is helping connect those dots more than ever before, and the phenomenon has come to be known as leapfrogging. In this podcast, we hear from the people behind Zipline, a start-up that uses drones to...


Diane Coyle on the Shortcomings of GDP

Gross domestic product, or GDP, is the one statistic that almost everyone knows is used to measure economic growth. But in this podcast, economist Diane Coyle suggests GDP may be a poor measure of prosperity. With all the technological advances in recent years one would expect that economies have become more productive. But when measured in GDP the numbers show the opposite is true. Coyle refers to this phenomenon as the productivity puzzle, and says the mismeasurement of digital...


Nicholas Stern on Reducing Carbon Emissions: Let’s Get On With It

2 years after 195 countries came together under the Paris Agreement to combat the effects of climate change, leading climate economist Nicholas Stern remains cautiously optimistic. In his landmark report on the impact of climate change published in 2006, Stern warned that the cost of inaction would be far greater for future generations than the costs of actions taken to reduce carbon emissions. In this podcast, Stern says while the world “passed the test” when signing the Paris Agreement,...


Blockchain’s Peter Smith: The Promise of Virtual Currency Systems

Blockchain technology is a shared, public ledger of transactions that’s open to inspection but not subject to any form of central control. And while it offers potential for a variety of applications, its most famous is providing the platform for virtual currencies like bitcoin. Peter Smith is co-founder and Executive Director of Blockchain, and in this podcast, he talks about the evolution of crypto currency financial systems and what it could mean for big data analytics. Smith was the...


Freelancers Union’s Sara Horowitz on Changing Nature of Work

For much of the past century the 9 to 5 job with benefits at a firm was what most people associated with financial stability. But as technology reshapes the labor market, more people are branching out on their own. A new report by Freelancers Union says freelancers will be the majority of the US workforce within 10 years if the current trend continues. In this podcast, Sara Horowitz, Executive Director of Freelancers Union, says freelancers are adapting to the changing nature of...


Keith Mitchell on Catastrophe Risk Insurance: Time is Not on Our Hands

In September 2017, the Caribbean was hit by the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Irma’s 185 mile per hour winds left several countries devastated. During a seminar on sovereign debt at the IMF World-Bank Annual meetings, Grenada’s Prime Minister and chair of CARICOM, Keith Mitchell, said catastrophe risk insurance could help vulnerable countries mitigate some of the risk from increasingly severe weather patterns. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and chair of...


Madhur Deora on India’s Digital Payment Boom

When the government of India last year declared that much of its currency in circulation would cease to be legal tender, digital transactions surged. Mobile payment platforms like PayTM stepped in to fill the void, and in the process­ are providing financial services to millions of people unable to open a traditional bank account. In this podcast, PayTM’s Madhur Deora, says financial technology is having an impact on India’s development. Deora joined a seminar about Fintech, during the...


Sub-Saharan Africa: The Path to Recovery

The IMF's latest regional economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa suggests the broad-based slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa is easing. In this podcast, co-author Jarek Wieczorek, says growth is up slightly from last year, but so is public debt. "If we maintain the trend we saw in the last 3 years, the debt will become unsustainable in many sub-Saharan African countries.” Contributors: Jarek Wieczorek, Head of the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s African Department


Afrique subsaharienne : la voie de la reprise

Les dernières perspectives de l’Afrique subsaharienne portent à croire que le ralentissement généralisé s’atténue. Dans ce podcast, coauteur Jarek Wieczorek, explique la croissance s’accélère, mais la dette publique augmente aussi. « Si la tendance actuelle persiste, la dette deviendra insoutenable dans plusieurs de pays ». Jarek Wieczorek, chef de la division des études régionales au Département Afrique du FMI


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