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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.




Michael Keen on Adapting Old Tax System to New Economy

International corporate tax avoidance is a growing concern for both advanced economies and low-income countries. The changing nature of the global economy–notably increasing digitalization, in some cases, is making it easier for firms to shift profits to low-tax countries. Michael Keen is a Deputy Director in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, and in this podcast he says the international tax system is under unprecedented stress. Keen was a lead author of a recent IMF policy paper that...


Ian Parry: Why A Carbon Tax Makes Sense

When it comes to environmental policies, Ian Parry argues none are more effective than carbon taxes. Parry, an expert on fiscal policy and climate change at the IMF, says carbon taxes promote a full range of responses for reducing emissions–like switching from coal to clean generation fuels, reducing the demand for electricity, transportation fuels, and so on and can be administratively straightforward to implement. Parry is author of several research papers on carbon taxation and his...


David Dollar on the Value of Value Chains

Global value chains break up the production process so that different steps can be carried out in different countries. In the past, a country had to master the production of a whole manufactured product to export it, which rarely happened. With value chains, a country can specialize in one or several activities in which it has a comparative advantage. In this podcast, David Dollar says he’s seen Asia’s economies transformed by value chains in recent years. Before joining Brookings as...


Fanwell Bokosi on Taming Africa’s Debt Beast

Debt is at record levels around the world. 40 percent of low-income countries are wrestling with debt distress or high-risk debt levels and for a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa the debt crisis has already materialized. Fanwell Kenala Bokosi is the Executive Director for the African Forum and Network for Debt and Development, or AFRODAD. In this podcast, Bokosi says the nature of Africa’s debt has changed in recent years, making it more difficult to find solutions for debt...


Andrew Steer on How Fiscal Policies Can Help Save the Planet

The main objective of the Paris agreement signed by 190 countries in 2015, is to reduce carbon emissions and ensure a transition to low emissions economies. A new IMF paper looks at the role of fiscal policies in helping countries implement their climate strategies. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute joined a panel to discuss the paper at the Center for Global Development. Before joining WRI, Steer held senior positions at the World Bank and was the Chief...


African Continental Free Trade Area a Potential Game Changer

In 2018, African Union members established the African Continental Free Trade Area in an effort to boost regional trade. They agreed to eliminate tariffs on most goods, liberalize the trade of services and address obstacles to trade between African countries. The African free trade agreement has since been ratified by 22 countries and is likely to take effect later this year. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa studies the potential impact of the agreement...


Nature Is Our Capital: Sir David Attenborough and Christine Lagarde

Nature and economic progress often have a conflicting relationship. In this podcast, lifelong champion of the natural world Sir David Attenborough joins IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde for a tête à tête on how economic growth and the economies of nature can work together to preserve life on earth. While the world’s natural resources make life and industry possible, the demands of a growing economy are putting unsustainable pressures on our climate and vital ecosystems. In his...


House Prices and Global Financial Stability

There is a strong link between the ups and downs of home prices around the world and the global economy. The latest Global Financial Stability Report takes a deep look into what the latest trends in the housing sector might tell us about vulnerabilities within in the financial system. Claudio Raddatz leads the IMF’s Global Financial Stability Analysis team, and in this podcast, he says a high share of financial crisis in recent decades have been preceded by boom-bust patterns in the...


Three Chief Economists on Why Income Inequality Matters

Achieving inclusive growth is one of the critical challenges of our time. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde opens a public discussion between IMF Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath, World Bank Chief Economist, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg and OECD Chief Economist, Laurence Boone, about how to ensure economic growth benefits the many and not only the few. In her introduction, Lagarde points out that it’s a first for these three multilateral institutions to have women...


Sawsan Gharaibeh: Curbing Corruption at Heart of Development

Corruption leeches money from citizens and taxpayers and corrodes trust in government. In this podcast, Transparency International’s Chairperson in Jordan, Sawsan Gharaibeh, talks about how governance weaknesses in some countries in the Middle East have undermined economic growth and kept the region on the lower end of the Corruption Perception Index. Gharaibeh was invited to join a panel on curbing corruption at the IMF World-Bank Spring meetings. Check out the latest Fiscal Monitor on...


The Economics of Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa

A third of countries in sub-Saharan Africa are currently involved in conflict or experiencing post-conflict tension, forcing an estimated 18 million people away from their homes and livelihoods. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa provides an in-depth analysis of conflict trends and the socio-economic challenges faced by countries in the region. Economists, Siddharth Kothari and Mahvash Saeed Qureshi spearheaded the study. In this podcast, they say conflicts...


Vulnerabilities in a Maturing Credit Cycle

A key objective of the IMF is to pick up on trends that could potentially compromise economic stability, and the Global Financial Stability Report is designed to help do just that. Fabio Natalucci heads the team of economists who write the biannual publication known as the GFSR. In this podcast, Natalucci says the latest report shows financial stability risks are higher than they were six months ago, due in part to rising corporate debt. Read the IMF BLOG Fabio Natalucci, is Deputy...


Patrick Imam on Citizenship and Growth

The notion of citizenship is relatively recent in our history. It was only in the 19th century with the birth of the nation-state that came the need to establish a legal distinction between those who belonged to the state and those who didn’t. But being a national or a foreigner influences one’s financial decisions, which can have a significant impact on a country’s economic development. In this podcast, IMF economist Patrick Amir Imam says while some citizenship laws help boost growth...


Spotting Global Risks Through Global Collaboration

Risk analysis is an important element in growth forecasting, and detecting vulnerabilities within the global financial system helps policymakers mitigate risks. In an effort to broaden the scope of its risk analysis, the IMF developed a new open-source tool that looks at the entire distribution of future GDP growth rather than the traditional point forecasts. The tool is now shared on GitHub, one of the world’s biggest software development platforms. Prasad Ananthakrishnan heads the...


Charlotte Cavaille: Populism, Immigrants and the Welfare State

Immigration can put extra pressure on governments to fund social programs, especially in times of slow economic growth. In this podcast, Political Scientist Charlotte Cavaille, says rising populism in some countries is fueling a debate about who should have access to government funded programs. Cavaille studies immigration and public opinion toward the welfare state, and was invited by the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development to present her research on immigration, redistribution, and...


Petra Moser on Italian Opera, World Fairs and Innovation

The effects of copyright and patent laws on artistic creativity and technological innovation are gaining more and more significance in today’s economy driven to a large part by content. Economic historian Petra Moser uses data from 19th century Italian operas and world fairs to examine the economic implications of basic copyright and patent protection for innovators. In this podcast, Moser describes how Napoleon’s military victories in Italy in the late 1700s changed the copyright landscape...


Amadou Sy: Fintech Breaking Down Barriers in Africa

While sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world in access to finance, some countries in the region are bucking the trend thanks to advancements in financial technology known as Fintech. Mobile technology has made sub-Saharan Africa the global leader in mobile money transfer services, helping provide financial services to millions previously off the formal financial grid. A new IMF study shows Fintech is emerging as a technological enabler, improving financial inclusion and...


David Coady: Strong Safety Nets Strong Growth

For many countries, broadening access to basic services like education and healthcare is fiscally daunting. Economies in developing countries are often informal for the most part, making it difficult for governments to collect the taxes that ultimately fund these programs. In this podcast, IMF economist David Coady says good policy decisions will help countries find the resources they need to strengthen their social safety nets. Coady is a social spending expert in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs...


Maryam Farboodi on Big Data and Bigger Firms

There’s been a huge surge in data usage across all sectors of the economy of late. And in the financial sector, recent research by MIT’s Maryam Farboodi shows that while data resolves some risk for investors, it also creates risk. In this podcast, Farboodi talks about how big data is disproportionally benefiting the larger firms and how the distributional aspects of data may be exacerbating inequality. Maryam Farboodi is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of...


Michal Rutkowski: Industrial-Era Welfare Policies are Falling Short

The changing nature of work is turning traditional employment on its head. More and more people are working in the gig economy or in jobs without formal employment contracts, and the payroll-based industrial-era social insurance policies are no longer providing the safety net for which they were designed. Michal Rutkowski oversees the World Bank’s work in developing systems that protect the most vulnerable sectors of society, and helped produce the 2019 World Development Report on the Future...