Ian Goldin on Data and Statistics: Signposts in the Fog


December 3, 2020

Ian Goldin says when it comes to economic statistics, we are often found to be in the dark. (B540/ Guillem Lopez/Photoshot/Newscom)

In This Episode

Covid-19 has shown the important role that data and statistics play in assessing the disruptions caused by the pandemic–economic and otherwise–and implementing measures to mitigate its impact. The IMF's Statistics Department brings together leading thinkers in the world of data in its annual Statistical Forum. This year, Ian Goldin was invited to give a keynote speech on Economics, Institutions, and Multilateralism in the context of Covid-19, and to discuss his book The Butterfly Defect with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. Goldin is the Oxford University Professor of Globalization and Development, and Director of the Oxford Martin Program on Technological and Economic Change. In this podcast, Goldin says bouncing back should not imply resorting to pre-pandemic approaches but to set out on a new and more sustainable path.

IAN GOLDIN is professor of Globalization and Development at Oxford University, presenter of the BBC SeriesThe Pandemic That Changed the World, and coauthor of Terra Incognita. Alex Copestake provided research assistance for this article.

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Bruce Edwards

International Monetary Fund

Bruce Edwards produces the IMF podcast program. He's an award-winning audio producer and journalist who's covered armed conflicts, social unrest, and natural disasters from all corners of the world. He believes economists have an important role in solving the world's problems and aspires to showcase their research in every IMF podcast.

Rhoda Metcalfe


Rhoda Metcalfe is an independent journalist and audio producer. Her reporting on the armed conflict in Colombia in the late 90s, as well as her work in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa has won several awards. She now produces podcasts and radio features from Washington DC and is a regular contributor to the IMF Podcast program.