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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Amadou Sy: Fintech Breaking Down Barriers in Africa

February 13, 2019

Mobile money took off in Africa as a payment platform and is now rapidly expanding into other financial services like providing loans. (iStock-Getty images)

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 serving as a catalyst for innovations in other sectors. In this podcast, economist Amadou Sy, says Fintech could be a real game changer for the region. Sy is an Advisor in the African Department at the IMF, and headed this new research on the impact of Fintech in Sub-Saharan African Countries.

Amadou Sy, is an Advisor in the IMF's African Department.

David Coady: Strong Safety Nets Strong Growth

January 30, 2019

IMF economist David Coady: Better tax policies can help strengthen social protection systems. (IMF photo)

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 Department, and author of Creating Fiscal Space featured in the December 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

David Coady heads the Expenditure Policy division in the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department.

Maryam Farboodi on Big Data and Bigger Firms

January 24, 2019

MIT's Maryam Farboodi says data resolves risk today but creates risk tomorrow. (iStock by Getty images/Dkart)

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 Management, her research on Data in Finance has been published in the National Bureau of Economic Research. Farboodi was invited to speak at the IMF's Institute for capacity Development.

Maryam Farboodi is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Michal Rutkowski: Industrial-Era Welfare Policies are Falling Short

January 7, 2019

Michal Rutkowski, head of World Bank's Social Protection and Jobs speaking at the 2018 IMF-World Bank Meetings in Bali. (IMF photo)

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 of Work. In this podcast, Rutkowski says 70 percent of the world's population is now in the informal labor market without the means to contribute to health care insurance or pension plans. Rutkowski is author of Reimagining Social Protection featured in the December 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.

Michal Rutkowski is Senior Director for Social Protection and Jobs at the World Bank Group.

Sharan Burrow: Social Protections in the Age of Technology

December 22, 2018

Sharan Burrow speaking at the 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali. (IMF photo)

Technology is quickly changing the nature of work. Full-time employment with health care and a pension is being replaced with short-term contracts with no benefits, leaving workers exposed. Sharan Burrow has been General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation since 2010, and a champion of workers rights in the age of technology. Burrow joined a panel on social protection and the future of work during the 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual meetings. The IMF's David Pedroza sat down with Sharan Burrow in Bali, Indonesia, where the meetings took place.

Sharan Burrow is General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.

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