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Listen to IMF economists and other experts discuss key economic and financial issues of the day. Click on the play button. Alternatively, download the audio MP3 file—a popular digital music format for sound files. Broadcasters: this facility is also being made available to enable these podcasts to be broadcast on radio outlets free of charge. Also available in SoundCloud

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Arrested Development: The Role of Agriculture

April 03, 2014

Subsistence farmers plant rice in Madagascar. People can only move out of farming once they produce more than they can eat (photo: Frans Lanting/Corbis)

Why are some countries richer than others? The key may lie in the agricultural sector, says one expert, who suggests that low agricultural productivity may be keeping poor countries in a state of arrested development.

Richard Rogerson, Professor of economics, Princeton University

Man Versus Nature

March 20, 2014

Post-Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines. People in developing economies are more likely to live in high-risk areas (photo: Czeasar Dancel/Corbis)

The frequency of natural disasters has increased, and it’s usually poorer countries that are more affected than the developed. But IMF economists say the right policies can softened their devastating impact.

Nicole Laframboise, Deputy Division Chief, IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department

World Braced to Meet Rising Energy Needs, says BP economist

March 10, 2014

Gas flare in oil fields in N Dakota, U.S. The country is close to becoming energy self-sufficient (photo: Tony Waltham/Corbis)

Over the next two decades, global energy consumption is expected to increase by more than 40 percent, according to the Chief Economist of BP, who describes some of the likely tectonic shifts in the energy sector of the future.

Christof Rühl - Group Chief Economist, BP

The Limits of Economics

February 24, 2014

Trichet during a meeting at the European Central Bank. During the crisis, policymakers felt abandoned by economic models, says Trichet (Photo: Corbis/Schults)

Economists use models to try to make sense of economic trends and shape policies. But, since the financial meltdown of 2008, many have criticized what they see as an overreliance on these models which failed to predict the crisis. The former President of the European Central Bank suggests ways these models might be improved.

Jean-Claude Trichet, Former President of the European Central Bank

Unemployment Benefits: The Good and The Bad

February 06, 2014

A recruitment sign. Unemployment benefits are important for low-income families, to prevent them from falling into poverty (Photo: James Leynse/Corbis)

Unemployment benefits deter job seekers from accepting work, say critics.  But do they?  One expert weighs the evidence.

Robert Moffitt, Professor of Economics, Johns Hopkins University

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