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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Africa’s Untapped Revenues with Alex Segura

June 21, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa’s resource-rich countries have the lowest tax effort and biggest tax gap in the region. (iStock by Getty Images/ssuaphoto)

The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa suggests better policy design could help countries increase tax revenues by as much as 5 percent of GDP. Alex Segura heads the IMF team for Gabon, and led the team of economists who wrote the chapter on raising revenues in the report. In this podcast, Segura says when people perceive that the tax system is fair, they’re much more likely to accept their tax obligations.

Alex Segura, team lead for Gabon, and Advisor in the IMF’s African department.

David Donaldson: Sherlock of Trade

June 8, 2018

MIT’s Dave Donaldson makes no assumptions about trade that are not based on facts. (photo: Porter Gifford Photography)

Studying the market for salt in 19th century India and the effects on trade of a railroad built 150 years ago led economist Dave Donaldson to important new findings that are relevant today. Donaldson was the 2017 John Bates Clark Medalist, awarded for the most significant contributions by an economist under the age of 40. In this podcast, Donaldson talks about his work on trade and how it benefits economic welfare.

A profile of Dave Donaldson, Sherlock of Trade is featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Dave Donaldson, professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and 2017 John Bates Clark Medalist. 

Arvind Subramanian: India’s New Tax Breaks Down Old Barriers

May 30, 2018

Arvind Subramanian says the goods and services tax provides valuable insight into the size of India’s informal and formal sector. (IMF photo)

As economic advisor to the government of India, Arvind Subramanian helped design the country’s goods and services tax. In July of last year, the national GST replaced the patchwork of value-added, sales, and excise taxes levied by 29 states and the federal government. In this podcast, Subramanian discusses the benefits of the new tax with the IMF’s Chris Wellisz. He says the tax helped create a single internal market for the first time since independence. Their conversation is also featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India. 

Siim Sikkut on The Making of E-Estonia

May 23, 2018

Skype headquarters, Tallin, Estonia. Skype was created in Estonia in 2003. (iStock by Getty images / ebolyukh)

Estonians rarely stand in line for anything anymore. Estonia ranks among the most digitally advanced countries in the world and virtually all government services are now offered online. Estonia is also where Skype was born. In this podcast, Estonia’s Chief Information Officer, Siim Sikkut, talks about how technology has transformed Estonia’s economy and an e-residency program that is wooing more start-ups. Read more about Estonia’s remarkable digitalization process in the March 2018 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.

Siim Sikkut is Estonia’s Chief Information Officer. 

Zhi Yong Heng: Investment in Africa is About to Explode

May 18, 2018

Marketplace in Madagascar. Investor Zhi Yong Heng says understanding local markets is key to smart investment. Heng took part in a seminar on private investment in Africa during the IMF World-Bank Spring meetings (iStock by Getty images)

With public debt on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa, boosting the private sector has become more important than ever. Zhi Yong Heng is a private investor for TLG Capital, an investment firm that focusses on equity opportunities in Africa. In this podcast, Heng says investors are missing out on great investment opportunities because of misperceptions of the risks and the business environment in the region. The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa devotes an entire chapter on private investment.


Zhi Yong Heng is Head of Special Situations at TLG Capital. 

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