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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Small Elephants Play Big Role in Fighting Climate Change

September 21, 2020

African forest elephants provide carbon-capture services worth billions by promoting the growth of larger trees. (iStock by Getty Images/guenterguni)

While the African elephant is the largest and the most famous land animal in the world, very few people know anything about the African forest elephant. Forest elephants are smaller and live in densely wooded rainforests. Their numbers are declining thanks to deforestation and poachers and likely face extinction if nothing is done to protect them. Other than local conservationists and the biologists who study them, forest elephants have few advocates. But what if people knew that African forest elephants provide carbon-capture services valued at over $150 billion? And what if those countries that host them could tap into that equity and benefit from their conservation efforts? In this podcast, economist Ralph Chami and ecologist Fabio Berzaghi say placing a monetary value on the services provided by forest elephants could help prevent their demise. Their article, The Secret Work of Elephants, is published in the online edition of Finance and Development Magazine.


Ralph Chami is Assistant Director at the IMF Institute for Capacity Development, and Fabio Berzaghi is an Ecologist at the Laboratory for Sciences of Climate and Environment.

Rethinking Work During and After Lockdown

August 28, 2020

Harvard Professor Jeffrey Polzer says for many, mandatory remote work has obliterated the line between work and home life. (iStock by Getty images/ jubaphoto)

While our work environments changed literally overnight, the impact of lockdowns on the nature of work is likely to last well beyond the pandemic. In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, scholars from Harvard and Stern Business Schools look at the ongoing challenges for organizations and workers struggling to adapt and perform amid the global pandemic. Jeffrey Polzer is a Professor in the Organizational Behavior Department at Harvard Business School and a coauthor of the study. In this podcast, Polzer says the pandemic has dramatically affected the way people are collaborating and doing their work.


Jeffrey T. Polzer is a Professor in the Organizational Behavior Department at Harvard Business School.

Divided by Degrees: Angus Deaton on how More Americans Without B.A.’s are Dying of Despair

July 30, 2020

Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton says middle-aged Americans without a bachelor's degree face grimmer prospects and are more likely to die of despair. (Dominick Reuter/Reuters/Newscom)

After a century-long decline, mortality rates in the U.S. have flattened- even increased for non-Hispanic whites in middle age. In this podcast, Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton describes how people are dying at an alarming rate from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases, and how the largest increases in mortality are happening among those without a bachelor's degree. In their latest book titled Deaths of Despair, Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case look at how approaches to healthcare and inequality relate to the rising mortality rates. Professor Deaton was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to present their research to IMF economists. He joined me afterward to talk about the B.A./non-B.A. divide in the United States.

Read the REVIEW of Deaths of Despair by Kenneth Rogoff.

Read Peter Walker's profile of Angus Deaton in F&D Magazine

Angus Deaton is Professor Emeritus at Princeton and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 for his work on consumption, poverty, and welfare.

Paul Krugman on Zombie ideas and Economic Recovery

July 16, 2020

Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman, is optimistic about a rapid economic recovery but worries about what lies ahead in the coming months. (Yadin Xolalpa sun/Newscom)

There are many facets of the IMF's work that people don't often hear about, one is capacity development; helping governments strengthen their ability to make good policy decisions and to implement them. Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to share his insight into where the economy stands now in the context of the global pandemic; his thoughts on what an economic recovery might look like and what policies may help it along. Professor Krugman joined me after his IMF presentation to talk about the current crisis and how zombie ideas–the topic of his latest book, might hinder the economic recovery.


Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of Arguing With Zombies

Kristalina Georgieva and David Pilling on Africa's Outlook

July 10, 2020

The gains Africa has made on growth and poverty reduction are now being dramatically interrupted. (iStock by Getty Images/ Adeyinka Yusuf)

The IMF's latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa is considerably worse than its April outlook and is subject to massive uncertainty. Economic activity this year is now projected to contract by some 3.2 percent, reflecting a weaker global economy and measures to contain the spread of the virus. In this podcast, Financial Times Africa Editor, David Pilling, and Kristalina Georgieva discuss the profound economic consequences of the pandemic for the continent and how the Fund is supporting countries through the crisis. The interview was produced by the Financial Times and can be found at

Kristalina Georgieva is IMF Managing Director, and David Pilling is Africa Editor for the Financial Times.

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