Listen to the brightest minds in the field of economics and development discuss their latest research and deconstruct global economic trends. IMF Podcasts are also available on digital platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and Libsyn, and free to use for broadcasters, educators and institutions. 

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s Push to Diversify

January 26, 2018

Radio telescope dishes, South Africa. Technology opens doors for startups and helps economies diversify. (photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters/Newscom)

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 this podcast, co-author Axel Schimmelpfennig says Africa’s young entrepreneurs should be at the heart of the diversification process.

Axel Schimmelpfennig, IMF Mission Chief for Uganda 

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The Economics of Populism: Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser

January 12, 2018

How Should We Study Populism? (Kaltwasser, ASSA Conference 2018)

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 creeping into economic policy.  

Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser is an Associate Professor in Political Science at Diego Portales University in Chile, and co-author of Populism: A Very Short Introduction.

William Maloney: The Innovation Paradox

January 5, 2018

William Maloney, World Bank: Returns to Research & Development can be big for developing countries (photo: SUN/Newscom)

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 Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group, and co-author of The Innovation Paradox. He was a guest lecturer at the IMF’s Developing Economies Seminar Series.

William F. Maloney, Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group.

Drones Proving a Lifeline in Rwanda

December 15, 2017

Zipline drone on a launch pad at operations center in Muhanda, Rwanda. (photo:JAMES AKENA/REUTERS/Newscom

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 make emergency blood deliveries to remote clinics in Rwanda.

Keller Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of Zipline, and Matthew Steckman, Chief Revenue Officer.

Diane Coyle on the Shortcomings of GDP

December 8, 2017

Economist Diane Coyle speaking at the IMF Statistical forum on Measuring the Digital Economy . (IMF photo)

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 activities within the economy has a lot to do with it. Coyle is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester, and spoke at the IMF Statistical forum on Measuring the Digital Economy.

Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester, and author of GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

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