Since the Industrial Revolution began more than 250 years ago- the world has produced enough wealth for every one of its 8 billion people to live comfortably. Yet, over 40 percent live in poverty, with most of the wealth being held by an increasingly narrow slice of the population. Binyamin Appelbaum says rising inequality is weighing on growth and straining the fabric of liberal democracy. And he squarely places the blame on distribution. In this podcast, Appelbaum says while there has been a surge of interest among economists to study the inequities of distribution, some still question the importance of it. Transcript
Tourism, hospitality, and other contact-intensive sectors with higher shares of female workers came to a dead stop shortly after Covid-19 infections started to spread. But as the labor market readjusts to the new work environment, a new study using real-time data on job listings reveals women–across all sectors, continue to drop out of the workforce at an alarming rate. While official labor market data can paint a confusing picture of the job market under the current conditions, economist Wenjie Chen says online job posting analysis from 22 countries shows the extent of the pandemic's damage, especially to women. Women have fared worse than men even in those jobs that are more conducive to working from home. Chen's article Disparities in Real Time is published in the December 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
The global pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and is widening the gap between white-collar workers who can work from home and those who don’t have the skills or resources to participate in a digitally-driven economy. And with robots and automation on the rise, COVID-19 appears to have ushered in a new normal for the global workplace. But in this podcast, JustJobs Network President Sabina Dewan, and ILO economist Ekkehard Ernst, argue this "new normal" isn't really new at all, and that shifting demographics and technology were upending labor markets long before the Covid-induced lockdowns. Dewan and Ernst coauthored Rethinking the World of Work, published in the December 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
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.
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.
بلدان الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا استجابت لجائحة كوفيد-19 باتخاذ إجراءات سريعة وصارمة للتخفيف من انتشار الجائحة وحدة تأثيرها ولكنها لا تزال تواجه بيئة قاسية يشوبها عدم اليقين. فتشير آخر التوقعات لآفاق الاقتصاد في المنطقة إلى أن البلدان المصدرة للنفط تضررت على وجه الخصوص بدرجة بالغة من "صدمة مزدوجة" تمثلت في الأثر الاقتصادي لحالات الإغلاق العام وما ترتب عليها من هبوط حاد في الطلب على النفط وفي أسعاره. جهاز أزعور يلقي الضوء على توقعات صندوق النقد الدولي للآفاق الاقتصادية في المنطقة. ويقول أزعور في هذه الحلقة من البث الصوتي إن احتواء الأزمة الصحية لا يزال هو الأولوية، إلا أن الحكومات يجب أن تبدأ كذلك في إرساء ركائز التعافي الاقتصادي الذي سيسمح للبلدان بالخروج من الأزمة أقوى من ذي قبل.
جهاد أزعور، مدير إدارة الشرق الأوسط وآسيا الوسطى
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.
La pandémie mondiale a exercé une pression intense sur les économies de toute l'Afrique subsaharienne. De nombreux gouvernements luttent pour maintenir la stabilité macroéconomique tout en répondant aux besoins fondamentaux de leurs populations. Papa N'Diaye dirige les perspectives économiques du FMI pour la région. Dans ce podcast, il dit que l'économie de l'Afrique subsaharienne connaîtra sa pire contraction jamais enregistrée cette année, ramenant le PIB par habitant aux niveaux de 2013.
Papa N’Diaye est chef de la division des études régionales au département Afrique du FMI.
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.
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. Transcript
Michael Kremer is Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, and director of the Development Innovation Lab. He 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.
Check out the University of Chicago's podcast Pandemic Economics
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.
Vitor Gaspar is the Director of the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department.
Read the blog at blogs.imf.org
While economies across the globe continue to feel the pressures from the pandemic, the latest Global Financial Stability Report shows the extraordinary fiscal and monetary policy measures taken by governments, Central Banks and International Financial Institutions have helped pull the global economy back from the brink. Fabio Natalucci leads the team of IMF economists who produce the report. In this podcast, he says policymakers should continue to carefully sequence their response based on the progression of the disease to maintain the stability of the global economy.
Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department.
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people and economies across the globe, the IMF and World Bank prepare for their second round of virtual meetings since the start of the crisis. In her customary curtain raiser speech, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva says while next week's outlook will show a small upward revision to the 2020 global forecast, countries are facing what she calls "The long ascent"—a difficult climb that will be uneven, uncertain and prone to setbacks.
The pandemic is adding pressure on society's most vulnerable and could lead to a significant rise in income inequality. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, talks with Max Lawson and Nadia Daar on the Equals podcast. The podcast was created by Oxfam International and focuses on inequality. Georgieva shares her views on the direction of inequality, the IMF's role in stabilizing economies amid the pandemic, and offers a glimpse into her own life experiences growing up in the Eastern Bloc.
While the African elephant is the largest and the most famous land animal in the world, very few people know anything about the African forest elephant. Forest elephants are smaller and live in densely wooded rainforests. Their numbers are declining thanks to deforestation and poachers and likely face extinction if nothing is done to protect them. Other than local conservationists and the biologists who study them, forest elephants have few advocates. But what if people knew that African forest elephants provide carbon-capture services valued at over $150 billion? And what if those countries that host them could tap into that equity and benefit from their conservation efforts? In this podcast, economist Ralph Chami and ecologist Fabio Berzaghi say placing a monetary value on the services provided by forest elephants could help prevent their demise. Their article, The Secret Work of Elephants, is published in the online edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
While our work environments changed literally overnight, the impact of lockdowns on the nature of work is likely to last well beyond the pandemic. In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, scholars from Harvard and Stern Business Schools look at the ongoing challenges for organizations and workers struggling to adapt and perform amid the global pandemic. Jeffrey Polzer is a Professor in the Organizational Behavior Department at Harvard Business School and a co-author of the study. In this podcast, Polzer says the pandemic, for many, has virtually obliterated the line between work and home life.
After a century-long decline, mortality rates in the U.S. have flattened- even increased for non-Hispanic whites in middle age. In this podcast, Nobel laureate, Angus Deaton describes how people are dying at an alarming rate from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases, and how the largest increases in mortality are happening among those without a bachelor's degree.
In their latest book titled Deaths of Despair, Deaton and Princeton economist Anne Case look at how approaches to healthcare and inequality relate to the rising mortality rates. Professor Deaton was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to present their research to IMF economists. He joined me afterward to talk about the B.A./non-B.A. divide in the United States.
Read the REVIEW of Deaths of Despair by Kenneth Rogoff.
Angus Deaton is Professor Emeritus at Princeton and Presidential Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2015 for his work on consumption, poverty, and welfare.
There are many facets of the IMF's work that people don't often hear about, one is capacity development; helping governments strengthen their ability to make good policy decisions and to implement them. Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman was invited by the Institute for Capacity Development to share his insight into where the economy stands now in the context of the global pandemic; his thoughts on what an economic recovery might look like and what policies may help it along. Professor Krugman joined me after his IMF presentation to talk about the current crisis and how zombie ideas–the topic of his latest book, might hinder the economic recovery.
Paul Krugman is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of Arguing With Zombies
The IMF's latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa is considerably worse than its April outlook and is subject to massive uncertainty. Economic activity this year is now projected to contract by some 3.2 percent, reflecting a weaker global economy and measures to contain the spread of the virus. In this podcast, Financial Times Africa Editor, David Pilling, and Kristalina Georgieva discuss the profound economic consequences of the pandemic for the continent and how the Fund is supporting countries through the crisis. The interview was produced by the Financial Times and can be found at FT.com/David-Pilling
The 2008 global financial crisis and the current pandemic have put enormous pressure on societies and exposed cracks in the systems we all depend on to survive. These types of global crises are forcing a reckoning about the world’s ability to manage systemic hazards. In this podcast, Ann Florini and Sunil Sharma say with increasing fragility in political, social, economic, and environmental systems, the 21st century is set to experience massive disruptions that pose serious, possibly existential threats to society. Their article Systemic Hazards is published in the June 2020 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
Ann Florini is a clinical professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University.
Sunil Sharma is a distinguished visiting scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
“The storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and stability,” said Ho Chi Minh, the Father of the Vietnamese Nation. And it turns out Vietnam has shown its strength in weathering the COVID-19 storm. Era Dabla-Norris and Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf are both economists in the IMF's Asia Pacific Department, and in this podcast, they say Vietnam's approach should allow for a quicker rebound.
You can read the Country Focus story at IMF
While connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other regions, digitalization is advancing fast and being embraced by those who do have access. Some countries are now global leaders in mobile money transactions—with a share of GDP average close to 25 percent, compared to just 5 percent in the rest of the world. In a region where infrastructure is often lacking, digital technologies offer ways to break down or leap over barriers. IMF economists Preya Sharma and Martha Tesfaye Woldemichael are co-authors of the latest analytical chapter for the Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, which studies the impact of digitalization. In this podcast, Sharma and Woldemichael say expanding internet access in sub-Saharan Africa by an extra 10 percent of the population could increase real per capita GDP growth by 1 to 4 percentage points.
L'Afrique subsaharienne est en première ligne du changement climatique, avec des conditions météorologiques extrêmes qui font des ravages sur les infrastructures et la production agricole. Mais la crise sanitaire introduit un autre niveau de risque pour la chaîne alimentaire. Dans ce podcast, les économistes du FMI Genet Zinabou et Eric Pondi Endengle disent que l'augmentation de la fréquence et de l'intensité des catastrophes naturelles pèse sur la région, qui dépend fortement de l'agriculture pluviale. Les dernières Perspectives économiques examinent comment la région peut mieux gérer les types de chocs qui menacent son approvisionnement alimentaire.
Migration has been the focus of heated political debate in recent years, surfacing misconceptions of its real economic impact. But a new study in The World Economic Outlook shows migration improves economic growth and productivity in host countries. In this podcast, IMF economist and co-author of the study, Margaux MacDonald, says supporting migrants now and ensuring migration trends continue beyond the pandemic will help the global economy recover. TRANSCRIPT
Look for the BLOG at Blogs.IMF.org
Margaux MacDonald is an economist in the IMF's Research Department.
Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front lines of climate change with extreme weather wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agricultural production. COVID-19 introduces yet another level of risk to the food chain. In this podcast, IMF economists Pritha Mitra and Seung Mo Choi say the increase in frequency and intensity of natural disasters is weighing down on the region, which relies heavily on rainfed agriculture. The latest Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how the region can better manage the types of shocks that threaten its food supply.