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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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Most Unequal on Earth

August 27, 2015

Latin America a region of stark income contrasts. Informal settlement Parque Real favela and upscale Morumbi neighborhood, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Danny Lehman/Corbis)

While the gap between rich and poor is widest in Latin America, research led by Nora Lustig shows it’s the only region in the world where the gap is actually narrowing. But in this podcast, Lustig admits it’s still unclear what specifically is behind the trend.


Nora Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics, director of the Commitment to Equity Institute at Tulane University and fellow of the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue.

Painting a Better Picture of Poverty

August 20, 2015

Even in the absence of absolute poverty, people may still suffer deprivation, which requires action, says Alkire (photo: IMF)

Poverty can mean different things in different countries. The creator of the “Multidimensional Poverty Index” explains how the measure is designed to expand policymakers’ understanding of poverty beyond the traditional benchmark of living on less than $1.25 per day.


Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative

Domestic Reforms to Expand Trade

August 13, 2015

Villagers carrying harvest to market in Ethiopia. It’s difficult to trade globally without an efficient local transportation network (xPACIFICA/Corbis)

World trade has slowed in the past decade. Professor Douglas Irwin says countries need to shift from focusing on trade barriers at borders, to domestic reforms that would help entrepreneurs get their goods to port cities for export.


Douglas Irwin is Professor in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College, and Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research

Russia Feeling The Pinch of Cheaper Oil, Sanctions

August 06, 2015

Checking pipelines for cracks in Siberia: Falling oil prices are putting added pressure on Russia’s economy (photo: Jerome Levitch/Corbis)

Russia is now likely in recession with GDP growth expected to decline 3.4 percent this year, says the IMF in its annual economic assessment. Mission Chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, explains how Russia’s economic woes are largely due to the dramatic drop in oil prices, and sanctions in response to developments in Crimea and Ukraine.


Ernesto Ramirez Rigo: IMF Mission Chief for Russia

Building Up India's Infrastructure Capacity

July 23, 2015

Trucks drive past a flyover under construction in India. The country needs to strengthen its capacity to guide public-private partnerships, says Lall. (photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi/Corbis)

India has invested nearly half a trillion dollars in its infrastructure over the last decade, but finding the funding for mega-projects is only half the challenge. The head of one of the country’s leading infrastructure finance companies explains.


Rajiv Lall, Managing Director & Vice Chairman, Infrastructure Development Finance Company, India


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