Nature is often missing in economic models, but in a study commissioned by the UK government, Partha Dasgupta examines the economic benefits of biodiversity and the costs of losing it. Dasgupta is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge, and his 600-page study titled the Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review sets out a framework for including Nature in our economic thinking and provides a guide for change through three broad, interconnected transitions. Professor Dasgupta published an article about his findings in the September edition of Finance and Development. In this podcast, he says humans are embedded in nature and cannot escape the biosphere through ingenuity. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3A56Eem
Read the F&D article at IMF.org/fandd
There's been a shift in the economic understanding of climate change of late. Climate action, once believed a trade-off to economic growth, is now seen by many economists as an opportunity to drive innovation and increase efficiency. After almost a decade at the World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer is now President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, which has committed $10 billion toward supporting new technologies that help reduce our impact on nature. Rhoda Metcalfe sat down with Dr. Steer to talk about his recent article in Finance and Development magazine. In this podcast, he says philanthropy has a big role to play in addressing climate change.
Read the F&D article at IMF.org/fandd
When it comes to cooperation, humans and chimpanzees still have much in common. Perhaps that's not surprising given humans share over 98 percent of our DNA with chimps. But in a recent article in Finance and Development, economist Ruchir Agarwal argues the 2 percent genetic difference propels humanity’s success, but also its potential for disaster. In this podcast, Agarwal asks whether humans have evolved enough to escape “chimpanzee politics” and confront the greatest risk our species is facing—climate change.
Read the Article at IMF.org/fandd
As climate change looms ever larger, most economists agree that a carbon tax would go a long way toward reducing emissions. But carbon taxes and related policies often face deep political constraints, and many are looking at sustainable investing as a way forward. Economist Divya Kirti is coauthor along with Dalya Elmalt and Deniz Igan of a working paper titled Limits to Private Climate Mitigation. In this podcast, Kirti talks about how such market forces could help make meaningful progress in addressing climate change. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3mDPYXj
Special Drawing Rights (SDR) are international reserve assets and used as the accounting unit for IMF transactions with its member countries. Earlier this month, in a historic multilateral response to the pandemic, the IMF board of governors approved a new SDR allocation of $650 billion, the largest in the institution's history. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu heads the Strategy, Policy and Review Department at the IMF. In this podcast, she says the SDR allocation will go a long way toward helping vulnerable countries and minimize the dangerous divergence in recovery paths around the world. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3y6inY1
Inclusion doesn't just happen; it takes policies that intentionally serve the very specific purpose of ensuring inclusion. That is the focus of Rohini Pande's work these days as the Director of Yale's Economic Growth Center. Pande is one of the most influential development economists of her generation, always looking for ways for the poor to increase their influence and claim their fair share of growth. In this podcast, Pande speaks with journalist Rhoda Metcalfe about how tackling poverty depends less on direct aid and more on creating effective democratic institutions so that vulnerable populations can push their representatives to implement redistributive policies.
Read Rohini Pande's profile at IMF.org/fandd
60 percent of the working-age population worldwide operates in the informal sector. A new book titled The Global Informal Workforce, Priorities for Inclusive Growth uses IMF research to study the causes and effects of the high levels of informality in economies across the globe. The book covers interactions between the informal economy, labor and product markets, gender equality, fiscal institutions and outcomes, social protection, and financial inclusion. In this podcast, co-editors Corinne Deléchat and Leandro Medina say the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of the informal workforce.
The book is available at elibrary.imf.org
Capacity development is one of the IMF's best-kept secrets. Strong institutions are key to a country's long-term development, and a third of the IMF's operating budget goes toward helping governments build the institutional capacity they need to fulfill their development goals. Oral Williams heads the IMF Regional Capacity Development Center for Anglophone West Africa and is coauthor with economists Ralph Chami and Elorm Darkey of a study that shows a direct relationship between technical assistance and the improvement in tax revenues. In this podcast, Williams says providing technical assistance and training to governments means better living standards for more people. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3eiK4py
No country has been spared the effects of changing weather patterns but developing countries–and island states, in particular, are facing the brunt of climate change while not having contributed to its root causes. Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, and Madagascar's Finance Minister, Richard Randriamandranto, joined IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to discuss the effects of natural disasters on their economies and how policies can be designed to help countries adapt to the new climate reality. The podcast is a compilation of excerpts from their discussion. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3hbeR9x
Watch a webcast of the full event at IMF.org
With public finances stretched to the limit and the pandemic making things worse by the day, new IMF research looks at innovative ways to get the private sector more involved in financing Africa's development needs. Economist Luc Eyraud led the research. In this podcast, he says while fixing the business environment is a good place to start, sometimes it is simply not enough. Transcript: https://bit.ly/3wOSJHz
Read the blog at: blogs.imf.org
There will be no durable end to the economic crisis until enough people around the world are vaccinated against Covid-19 and its variants to put the health crisis behind us. Economist Ruchir Agarwal and IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath have joined forces to come up with a plan that would make that happen. In this podcast, Agarwal says the return on investment for ending the pandemic could reach $9 trillion, one of the highest-return investments ever.
When the apartheid regime ceded power following South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, the economy was in shambles. Debt service costs as a share of GDP were crippling. Trevor Manuel—a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle and appointed minister of finance—revamped the budgeting process and set a stringent deficit reduction target. By 2006, the economy was growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades. In this podcast, Manuel looks back at what drove the country's longest phase of economic growth and how he believes the ruling party he helped establish has lost its way. Read the Transcript.
Covid-19 has left government budgets across the globe scrambling for revenues and having to reassess their tax and spending policies. For some countries– especially those in conflict areas, spending on defense eats up precious resources that could otherwise go toward other forms of public spending like education, health and infrastructure. In this podcast, economist Sanjeev Gupta says keeping global tensions in check would have long-term economic benefits. Transcript
Transcript link: https://bit.ly/3vAx1q8
Look for Military Spending in the Post-Pandemic Era in Finance and Development Magazine.
Society has long debated the morality of debt. In ancient times, debt was viewed in many cultures as sinful, with lending at interest especially repugnant. These concerns continue to influence perceptions of lending and the regulation of credit markets today. Nikita Aggarwal is a research associate at the Digital Ethics Lab at Oxford University's Internet Institute. In this podcast, Aggarwal says our increasingly online lives prove a valuable source of data for lenders and add new dimensions to debt’s morality. Her article, The New Morality of Debt, is published in the March 2021 issue of Finance and Development Magazine. Transcript
New IMF research shows that women with young children, mothers, particularly less educated ones, have been the most adversely affected group during the pandemic. Chrystia Freeland is Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and its first-ever female Finance Minister. In this podcast, Freeland and IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, discuss policies to help prevent the covid-19 pandemic from rolling back gains in women's economic opportunities, and how Canada has aligned its gender strategy with the budget process.
Watch the webcast at IMF.org
Before the pandemic hit, 80 percent of corporate wealth was held by the top 10 percent of large companies richest in intangible assets like data, software, and intellectual property. In this podcast, Rana Foroohar says the concentration of wealth and power among Big Tech firms has grown exponentially over the course of the pandemic. Foroohar is Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor at the Financial Times. She was invited to speak at the Institute for Capacity Development about her book Don't be evil, which examines the implications for society of the growing influence of Silicon Valley tech giants in all aspects of the economy. Transcript
Read more about building a better data economy in the March issue of Finance and Development Magazine: IMF.org/FandD
While there are signs of a recovery in advanced economies, sub-Saharan Africa is still in the throes of an unprecedented health and economic crisis. The second wave of COVID-19 infections was worse than the first and countries are bracing for more, while access to vaccines is scant at best. Most African countries will be struggling to vaccinate essential frontline workers this year, let alone the broader population. The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa lays out the challenges that the region is facing and comes up with some policy recommendations to deal with critical issues like debt management and the financing of vaccine procurement. Papa N’Diaye leads the team that produces the biannual report. In this podcast, he says sub-Saharan Africa will be the world’s slowest growing region in 2021.
Read the report at IMF.org
S'il existe des signes de reprise dans les économies avancées, l'Afrique subsaharienne est toujours en proie à une crise sanitaire et économique sans précédent. La deuxième vague d'infections au COVID-19 était pire que la première et les pays se préparent à plus, alors que l'accès aux vaccins est au mieux limité. La plupart des pays africains auront du mal à vacciner les travailleurs de première ligne essentiels cette année, sans parler de la population en général. Les dernières Perspectives économiques régionales de l'Afrique subsaharienne présentent les défis auxquels la région est confrontée et formule des recommandations politiques pour faire face à des problèmes critiques tels que la gestion de la dette et le financement de l'achat de vaccins. Papa N’Diaye dirige l’équipe qui produit le rapport semestriel. Dans ce podcast, il dit que l’Afrique subsaharienne sera la région du monde qui affiche la plus faible croissance en 2021.
Le papier intégral peut être consulté sur imf.org.
Debt levels in many countries were high when the pandemic hit. But today, global public debt is reaching 100 percent of GDP. In this podcast, we hear a panel discussion about the very real danger for some countries of falling into a debt trap. The seminar was held during the 2021 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings and featured IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, Mohamed El-Erian, President of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations. The Panel was moderated by Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times.
Go to IMF.org to watch the webcast.
Global prospects are looking better one year into the pandemic, albeit highly uncertain. The latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) places growth at 6% for 2021, compared to 2020's unprecedented contraction of -3.3%. But recovery is by and large vaccine-dependent and the lack of access to vaccines is making recovery hard to imagine for some countries, while others are well on their way. Malhar Nabar is Division Chief in the IMF Research Department and heads the WEO. In this podcast, he says these divergent recoveries are a big concern. Transcript
Read the WEO and the blog at IMF.org
While emerging markets suffered huge portfolio outflows at the beginning of the pandemic, the latest Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) shows capital flows have returned and the outlook continues to improve, partly because of low interest rates in countries such as the United States. The new report takes a close look at the possibility of rising interest rates and what that would mean for emerging market economies trying to recover from the pandemic. Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department and heads the GFSR. In this podcast, he says a lagging recovery in emerging markets is a risk to global financial stability. Transcript
Read the report: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/GFSR
Read the blog: https://blogs.imf.org/
More than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, signs of a recovery for some countries are slowly beginning to emerge. But in her customary curtain-raiser speech ahead of next week's virtual IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said high uncertainty is one of the greatest dangers facing the global economy.
Go to IMF.org to follow the Spring Meetings and find all the IMF flagship reports, including the World Economic Outlook, the Global Financial Stability Report, and the Fiscal Monitor.
2020 was a record-breaking year for housing markets in many countries- including the US, but for the commercial real estate sector, it was a completely different story. Lockdown and containment measures severely affected economic activity, pushing down commercial property transactions and prices in cities around the world. A new analytical chapter in the IMF Global Financial Stability Report looks at how continued downward pressure on prices could threaten financial stability and hamper the recovery. In this podcast, lead author Andrea Deghi and team lead Mahvash Qureshi say vacancy rates of office space in the US almost doubled in 2020 due to people having to work from home, a trend likely to continue well beyond the pandemic.
Read the analytical chapter: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/GFSR/Issues/2021/04/06/global-financial-stability-report-april-2021
Read the blog: https://blogs.imf.org/
Public policy plays an important role in the recovery from the pandemic, but private sector innovation and agility can make a big difference on many counts. In this episode, Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat talks with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and David Miliband, Chief Executive Officer of the International Rescue Committee, on Google's Zeitgeist podcast, an exclusive series that brings together extraordinary leaders to focus on critical issues for the world. Transcript
Earlier this month, AFRODAD's Jason Braganza was invited to participate in the IMF and European Commission's annual African Fiscal Forum, where Finance Ministers, heads of international agencies, and development partners discussed ways to support African economies through the pandemic. In this podcast, Braganza says countries need more fiscal space to boost social protection systems, provide stimulus for businesses, and create resources for vaccination procurement and rollout programs.