In Japan, deaths outnumber births by 1,000 people per day on average. The population in some regions is now smaller than what it was in the 1950’s. The combination of its rapidly declining labor force—expected to fall even faster than the overall population, and the limited influx of immigrants, creates a powerful incentive for robots and artificial intelligence. In this podcast, IMF economists Todd Schneider and Gee Hee Hong say Japan has no choice but to embrace robots and automation to help the shrinking workforce become more productive. Schneider and Hong coauthored Land of the Rising Robots, an article featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Todd Schneider, is a Deputy Division Chief, and Gee Hee Hong, is an economist, both in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.
Jamaica’s economic reform plan launched back in 2013, has shown promise. Employment is at historic highs and external borrowing costs are lower than they’ve ever been. But economic growth is still slow, and the recent depreciation of the Jamaican dollar has turned attention to a shift in the Bank of Jamaica’s foreign exchange policy. In this podcast, economist Uma Ramakrishnan, says the central bank’s renewed commitment to its flexible exchange rate regime will help stabilize prices and spark growth. Ramakrishnan heads the IMF team for Jamaica.
Uma Ramakrishnan is a Division Chief in the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department and heads the team for Jamaica.