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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Ulrich Volz: Pandemic is but a Prelude to Looming Climate Crisis

November 12, 2020

The pandemic has highlighted in dramatic ways the need for better disaster preparation. (iStock by Getty Images/John Carnemolla)

Despite long-standing warnings from scientists about the risks of a pandemic, the world was simply unprepared for this one. Ulrich Volz says the same is true for climate change. Volz is the director of the Center for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London and in this podcast, he says many countries will find themselves in a permanent crisis mode unless concerted efforts are made to strengthen investment to mitigate and adapt to climate change, Volz's article Investing in a Green Recovery is published in the June 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.


Ulrich Volz is the director of the Center for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University of London and senior research fellow at the German Development Institute.

Jihad Azour: Policies to Help Middle East, North Africa Emerge Stronger

November 3, 2020

More opportunities for youth and increasing women's participation will accelerate the region's economic recovery. (iStock by Getty Images/katleho Seisa)

The Middle East and North Africa responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. The latest outlook for the region shows oil exporters, in particular, were hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and a sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Jihad Azour heads the IMF's outlook for the region. In this podcast, he says while containing the health crisis is still the priority, governments must also start laying the groundwork for an economic recovery that will allow countries to emerge stronger.

Jihad Azour is Director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department.

Sub-Saharan Africa Faced with Regaining Lost Ground

October 22, 2020

In just a few months the coronavirus has jeopardized decades of hard-won development gains. (iStock by Getty images/Drazen Zigic)

The global pandemic has put intense pressure on economies across sub-Saharan Africa. Many governments are struggling to maintain macroeconomic stability while also meeting the basic needs of their populations. Papa N'Diaye heads the IMF's economic outlook for the region. In this podcast, he says sub-Saharan Africa's economy will see its worst contraction on record this year, bringing real per capita incomes back to 2013 levels.

Papa N’Diaye heads the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s African Department.

Michael Kremer: Investing in Vaccines Now Would Buy Time, Save $Billions

October 20, 2020

While vaccine manufacturing capacity is typically built only after clinical approval, Nobel Laureate, Michael Kremer, says building it during the clinical trials could advance vaccine distribution by 6 months or more. (HARVARD UNIVERSITY/UPI/Newscom)

In the early 2000s, Nobel Laureate, Michael Kremer helped develop the design of advance market commitment models (AMCs). They were used to incentivize the private sector to work on issues of relevance for the developing world by pledging that if they developed an appropriate vaccine, funds would be available for those countries to purchase it. The approach resulted in billions of dollars being devoted to pneumococcal vaccines for strains common in developing countries, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. Kremer's latest research focuses on how to expedite the production and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines immediately following successful medical trials. In this podcast, Kremer says at-risk investment into vaccine manufacturing capacity before clinical approval would advance vaccine distribution by 6 months or more. Michael Kremer shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2019 for his work on experimental approaches to alleviating global poverty. He was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to present this latest research to IMF economists.  Transcript

Check out the University of Chicago's podcast Pandemic Economics

Michael Kremer is Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, and Director of the Development Innovation Lab.

Unprecedented Fiscal Response to an Unprecedented Crisis

October 14, 2020

IMF's Vitor Gaspar says the priority now should be to avoid premature withdrawal of fiscal support. (IMF photo)

Seven months after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, more than 1 million people have died of the disease and trillions of dollars have been spent in an effort to contain its devastating impact on economies across the globe. The latest Fiscal Monitor looks at what governments can do in the different phases of the pandemic to reduce the impact of the recession. Vitor Gaspar heads the semiannual publication. In this podcast, he says the massive fiscal support provided since the start of the crisis has been effective at saving lives and livelihoods and needs to continue.


Read the blog

Vitor Gaspar is Director of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department.

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