The pace at which artificial intelligence is transforming jobs is astounding, but while it boasts higher productivity AI is also increasing wage inequality. When workers are replaced by machines, real wages decline, and the owners of capital prosper. So who owns AI and how should its benefits be distributed? In this podcast, the IMFs Andrew Berg and Maryam Vaziri discuss AI’s inequality problem, the subject of their article in December’s special AI edition of Finance and Development magazine. Berg is Deputy Director, and Vaziri is an economist, both in the IMF Institute for Capacity Development.
There’s no question that Artificial Intelligence will increase productivity- but at what cost? What happens when systems out-perform not only factory workers but society’s most esteemed professions? Daniel Susskind has written two thought-provoking books on how AI is changing the nature of work and what tomorrow’s labor market will look like. Susskind is a research professor at King's College London and a senior research associate at the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University. In this podcast, Susskind speaks with journalist Rhoda Metcalfe about how encouraging technologies that complement rather than substitute human work would place fewer livelihoods at risk.
Global warming is wreaking havoc on so many levels, but climate action is costly and presents policymakers with difficult tradeoffs. High debt, rising interest rates, and weaker growth prospects make public finances harder to balance and climate goals harder to achieve. This is where fiscal policy and climate mitigation meet and why the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department is trying to help countries manage their limited resources. Economists Christine Richmond and Raphael Lam work on climate policy and the annual publications of the IMF Fiscal Monitor. In this podcast, they say governments now face a policy trilemma between achieving climate goals, fiscal sustainability, and political feasibility.
Carbon pricing is steadily emerging as one of the most viable solutions to reducing global emissions, but shedding its contentious past to build a global consensus is still a work in progress. Economist Ian Parry has championed the idea of carbon pricing long before it was fashionable- or even considered feasible by more than a handful of countries. Parry is the principal environmental fiscal policy expert in the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department and has made it his mission to present- on behalf of the institution, the benefits of incorporating climate risks into the cost of doing business through a carbon tax.
Having access to nature can improve lives. Walking through the forest or by a lake occasionally is proven to have both physical and psychological benefits. But nature is a resource that is undervalued in our economies, and all too often left off the balance sheet. Catherine Kling says determining the true economic value of nature will help foster its preservation. Kling is an environmental economist at Cornell University in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and has focused much of her career on creating the kind of data that encourages governments to include the value of nature in their economic decision-making. In this special episode of our Women in Economics series, Kling and Journalist Rhoda Metcalfe discuss why putting a price tag on nature will help save it.
The world of money is changing fast and central banks are at the very center of that change. Shaktikanta Das is the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, which is responsible for regulating currency and securing monetary stability for the world’s 5th largest economy. Das is also an innovator and a pioneer when it comes to Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs. In this podcast, Das sits down with IMF Asia and Pacific Department head, Krishna Srinivasan, to discuss RBI’s strategy for today and for the future. The conversation took place as part of the Governor Talks series held during the Annual Meetings in Marrakech.
Watch the webcast at IMF.org
Navigating an economy through multiple crises is not for the faint-hearted. Policy responses must be quick- often with little to go on, and decisions have lasting effects. Nigel Clarke has been Jamaica’s Minister of Finance since 2018 and led its economy through the pandemic as well as devastating natural disasters caused by climate change. In this podcast, Clarke sits down with IMF Western Hemisphere Department head, Rodrigo Valdés, to discuss Jamaica’s strong track record of investing in institutions and prioritizing macroeconomic stability. The conversation took place as part of the IMF’s Governor Talks series held during the Annual Meetings in Marrakech.
Watch the Webcast at IMF.org
With the years of access to cheap money behind them and the effects of climate change and geopolitical tensions only getting worse, what does resilience look like for emerging market economies? This year’s Per Jacobbson lecture brings together three influential thinkers to discuss how countries can work towards economic resilience in an era of greater uncertainty. The talk features Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development, and is moderated by Guillermo Ortiz, former Governor of the Bank of Mexico.
Millions of families around the world- even some countries, rely on workers living abroad to keep their economies afloat. In fact, global remittances reached a record $647 billion in 2022—three times that of official development assistance. Dilip Ratha is lead economist for migration and remittances at the World Bank. In this podcast, journalist Rhoda Metcalfe asks Ratha about his own experiences growing up in rural India and how they led him to become a leading voice on the power of remittances to reduce global poverty. Ratha says remittances are timely, large, stable, and best of all, they are countercyclical.
Read Resilient Remittances at IMF.org/fandd
Most economies have shown resilience through the steepest series of rate hikes in decades. But inflation remains stubbornly high in some countries, which is proving a challenge for global monetary policy going forward. The latest Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) examines all the worrying trends including the corporate world’s dwindling cash buffers and the risk of underinvesting in climate mitigation. Fabio Natalucci heads the GFSR. In this podcast, he says risks to the world economy remain high.
Read the full report at IMF.org/GFSR
International cooperation is weakening. The bridges that connect countries are corroding as trade and investment barriers are rising, and Africa stands to suffer the biggest economic losses from severe fragmentation. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva kicked off the 2023 Annual Meetings in Marrakech with her customary curtain raiser speech from Cote d’Ivoire. It’s the first time since 1973 that the Annual Meetings are held in Africa and Georgieva says it’s an opportunity to pave the way to the next 50 years.
Go to IMF.org to follow the Annual Meetings and find all the IMF flagship reports, including the World Economic Outlook, the Global Financial Stability Report, and the Fiscal Monitor.
A functioning economy provides people with access to credit, insurance, and, among other things, investment opportunities. But what happens in poor communities where they are landless and have no wealth? Eliana La Ferrara says the social structure within those communities offers the collateral they need to make the economy work. La Ferrara is a Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and an award-winning economist whose work has helped us understand how the economics of the poor are deeply interwoven into the social fabric and norms of their communities. Journalist Rhoda Metcalfe sat down with La Ferrara to discuss her work in Africa, and how she came to focus on development issues that are often overlooked. The interview is part of the IMF series on extraordinary Women in Economics.
Credit cards that offer rewards like travel discounts seem a good idea, but rewards cards can be costly for anyone who keeps a running balance. So should there be rules around who gets one? IMF economist Andrea Presbitero is coauthor of a study that looks at the distributional impact of rewards cards. In this podcast, Presbitero says while the high interest rates and penalties associated with these cards can widen wealth inequality, limiting access is not the answer. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3r5fzwY
Abdellatif Jouahri est le gouverneur de Banque Al-Maghrib depuis 2003 et l'homme derrière les grandes réformes qui ont fait du Maroc l'une des économies les plus importantes de la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord (MENA). Dans cet épisode, Jouahri s'entretient avec Taline Koranchelian, directrice adjointe du Département Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale du FMI pour évoquer sa longue et éminente carrière. Leur conversation a eu lieu à la veille des Assemblées Annuelles 2023 qui se tiendront au Maroc en octobre.
The dramatic opening up of markets to international trade over the past 30 years has been a boon to many developing economies but it has not benefitted everyone. Nina Pavcnik grew up in Yugoslavia and witnessed firsthand the effects of open markets on the lives of people across the border. Pavcnik is now Professor of Economics and International Studies at Dartmouth College and has become an authority on how international trade affects the poor. In this podcast, Journalist Rhoda Metcalfe sits down with Pavcnik to talk about her research as part of our series on extraordinary Women in Economics.
While import prices account for much of Europe’s inflation, its outlook largely depends on how companies absorb wage gains as higher prices erode workers’ purchasing power. IMF economist Frederik Toscani studies inflation and monetary policy in the Euro Area and is coauthor of a new paper that breaks inflation down into labor costs, import costs, taxes, and profits. In this podcast, Toscani says corporate profits account for 45 percent of price rises since the start of 2022.
Nigeria’s eNaira was the first Central Bank Digital Currency in Africa and only the second in the world when it launched in October 2021, but a growing number of countries across the globe are now planning to follow suit with their own CBDCs. What can they learn from Nigeria’s experience? Jookyung Ree is an economist in the IMF African Department and assigned to Nigeria when the CBDC was introduced. Ree has since studied its impact on the economy and found that existing mobile money networks are proving a challenge to the eNaira’s adoptability. In this podcast, Ree says the eNaira will need to complement mobile money systems to convince more Nigerians to use it.
Since their inception in 2008, the contentious rise of crypto assets has been dramatic. Their market value has been as high as $3 trillion and about $50 million is transacted in crypto every day. But what does this brave new world of cryptographically-protected distributed ledgers mean for traditional tax systems? Ruud De Mooij is Deputy Director of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department and heads its work on taxation. In this podcast, De Mooij says finding ways to tax crypto will mean significant revenue gains for governments and lead to a fairer global tax system.
Read the blog and IMF.org/blogs
The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States unleashed its largest investment in climate and energy ever. But it also left many countries questioning some of its protectionist provisions, accusing the US of bending, if not breaking international trade rules under the WTO. So how do we move forward on climate without going backward on trade? Noah Kaufman says international trade rules need to be redesigned if protectionism is not to become an unintended consequence of green industrial policy. Kaufman is a senior research scholar at Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and served in the Biden Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors.
The history of economics has largely been written by men about men. Even when the economics of family became a burgeoning field of study in the 1970s, the woman’s role was hardly talked about. Claudia Goldin is a pioneer in the field of gender economics and her latest book Career and Family places women squarely at the center of the family economics story. Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and an economic historian. Journalist Rhoda Metcalfe sat down with Claudia Goldin to discuss her work and how she came to write the definitive book on gender economics Understanding the Gender Gap. The interview is part of the IMF series on extraordinary Women in Economics.
As rising geopolitical tensions chip away at globalization, will a more fragmented world mean stronger regional pacts? Economist Michele Ruta says regionalism in a time of conflict is unlikely to triumph, but rather is likely to change. The trend toward strengthening ties with friends and loosening them with non-friends is making regional trade less about integration and more about discrimination. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3MHNbIc
Like so many countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco faced successive shocks over the past three years including a devastating drought. But the country managed well thanks to an aggressive reform agenda. In this podcast, Morocco’s Finance Minister Nadia Fettah, and IMF Regional Director Jihad Azour, discuss how Morocco is keeping reforms on track despite the challenging circumstances, and what lessons other countries in the region might learn from Morocco’s experience. Their conversation was part of the Governor Talks series hosted by the IMF during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, and a preamble to the Annual Meetings to be held in Marrakesh this fall.
Watch the webcast at IMF.org
Industrial policy refers to a set of policies that governments use to bolster national industries or companies deemed strategically important for economic competitiveness, social outcomes, or national security. The approach has been used in many countries to create global giants like Huawei, General Electric, Volkswagen, and Airbus to name a few. Economist Ruchir Agarwal is currently studying industrial policy, among other things, at the Yale School of Management and Harvard Kennedy School. In this podcast, Agarwal says while the practice of choosing national champions fell out of favor in the 1980s, rising geopolitical tensions of late have sparked a renewed interest in industrial policy, which can be a guise for protectionism.
Agricultural productivity in Africa has lagged behind for decades, and now climate change is making things worse. But for Hamza Rkha Chaham, the prospect of helping African farmers increase crop yields prompted him to launch a startup that is transforming lives. Chaham was only 27 years old in 2018 when he co-founded SOWIT, a company that uses processed satellite imagery to provide farmers with invaluable data to optimize decisions related to irrigation and fertilization. In this podcast, he says startups in Africa can be challenging on many levels, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo faces many challenges to its development, but the country’s natural wealth has the potential to lift more people out of poverty and help the world make the transition to renewable energy. In this podcast, IMF African Department head Abebe Aemro Selassie sits down with DRC’s Minister of Finance, Nicolas Kazadi to discuss the country’s pivotal role in the fight for climate preservation and sustainable development. Their conversation took place as part of the Governor Talks series hosted by the IMF during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings.