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.
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.
It took more than 50,000 years for the world population to reach 1 billion people, but since 1960, we have added successive billions every one to two decades. The United Nations projects there will be 9 billion people on the planet by 2037. Demography is the study of life, death and everything we do in between. And throughout human history, we've seen plenty of population booms and busts. In this podcast, Harvard economist and demographer David Bloom, says public policy both shapes and responds to demographic trends. David Bloom's article, Population 2020, is published in the March issue of Finance & Development magazine.
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While the immigration debate tends to focus on culture, identity and potential economic benefits, Giovanni Peri says demographics are the Achilles' heel of the global North. Peri is Director of the Global Migration Center at the University of California, Davis, and in this podcast, he says immigration policies that allow larger numbers of immigrants will help stabilize population growth in the aging advanced economies of the North. Peri's article Immigrant Swan Song is published in the March 2020 issue of Finance and Development magazine.
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Bonds have been helping corporations and governments finance infrastructure and large-scale projects for hundreds of years. But the last decade has seen the emergence of green bonds, driven by increasing environmental awareness within the business community. In this podcast, founder and CEO of Rock Creek, Afsaneh Beschloss, says global asset management firms like hers are seeing a growing demand for climate-related investments. In the first half of 2019 alone, new certified green bond issues topped $100 billion globally. Prior to Rock Creek, Beschloss was treasurer and chief investment officer of the World Bank. Her article A Greener Future for Finance, co-authored with Mina Mashayekhi, is published in the December 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Inequality and climate change are two of the most pressing issues of our time, with repercussions likely to last long into the future. In this podcast, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath sits down with two young leaders to talk about how best to tackle these issues. Lyndsay Walsh (Trinity College, Dublin) and Tarik Gooptu (University of Oxford) are both students and both of a generation that is highly motivated to bridge income gaps and stop global warming. Walsh and Gooptu are the winners of an essay competition launched by Finance and Development Magazine. Their essays are published in the December 2019 issue.
Without major efforts to reduce the accumulation of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, future generations will inherit a much warmer planet with risks of dangerous climate events, higher sea levels, and destruction of the natural world. In this podcast, economist Ian Parry makes the case for carbon taxation as the most effective way to nudge people towards cleaner fuels and to encourage them to adopt more efficient appliances or lower emission vehicles. But while convincing people to buy electric cars and more efficient appliances is important, the largest CO2 emitting countries need to work together to make a real dent in global greenhouse gas emissions. That, Parry says, is proving to be difficult. Parry's latest article Putting a Price on Pollution is published in the December 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
While efforts to mitigate climate change have focused primarily on burning fewer fossil fuels, recent research by the UN’s Panel on Climate Change shows that what we eat and how we produce it can have an even greater impact on the global environment and public health. The report says reforms in crop and livestock activities could potentially mitigate up to a third of all greenhouse-gas emissions. IMF economist, Nicoletta Batini studies the environmental impact of the agri-food sector. Her latest article titled Reaping What We Sow is published in the December 2019 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
Photo: Consuming fewer animal products can help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. (Istock by Getty Images/ FrankvandenBergh)
When it comes to environmental policies, Ian Parry argues none are more effective than carbon taxes. Parry, an expert on fiscal policy and climate change at the IMF, says carbon taxes promote a full range of responses for reducing emissions–like switching from coal to clean generation fuels, reducing the demand for electricity, transportation fuels, and so on and can be administratively straightforward to implement. Parry is author of several research papers on carbon taxation and his recent article What Is Carbon Taxation? is published in the June 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Ian Parry is the principal environmental fiscal policy expert in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.
Global value chains break up the production process so that different steps can be carried out in different countries. In the past, a country had to master the production of a whole manufactured product to export it, which rarely happened. With value chains, a country can specialize in one or several activities in which it has a comparative advantage. In this podcast, David Dollar says he’s seen Asia’s economies transformed by value chains in recent years. Before joining Brookings as Senior Fellow at the China Center, Dollar was World Bank Country Director for China and represented the US Treasury in Beijing. Dollar’s recent article on value chains Invisible Links is published in the June 2019 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Check out the Dollar and Sense podcast at Brookings.edu
For many countries, broadening access to basic services like education and healthcare is fiscally daunting. Economies in developing countries are often informal for the most part, making it difficult for governments to collect the taxes that ultimately fund these programs. In this podcast, IMF economist David Coady says good policy decisions will help countries find the resources they need to strengthen their social safety nets. Coady is a social spending expert in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, and author of Creating Fiscal Space featured in the December 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
David Coady heads the Expenditure Policy division in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.
The changing nature of work is turning traditional employment on its head. More and more people are working in the gig economy or in jobs without formal employment contracts, and the payroll-based industrial-era social insurance policies are no longer providing the safety net for which they were designed. Michal Rutkowski oversees the World Bank’s work in developing systems that protect the most vulnerable sectors of society, and helped produce the 2019 World Development Report on the Future of Work. In this podcast, Rutkowski says 70 percent of the world’s population is now in the informal labor market without the means to contribute to health care insurance or pension plans. Rutkowski is author of Reimagining Social Protection featured in the December 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Michal Rutkowski is Senior Director for Social Protection and Jobs at the World Bank Group.
While countries around the world scramble to find new revenue streams, it turns out most are sitting on wealth they don’t even know they own. The IMF’s Fiscal Monitor launched in October, analyses public wealth in 31 countries to find their assets worth $101 trillion or 219 percent of GDP. Dag Detter is a specialist in public commercial assets, and works as an adviser to local and national governments to help make their public assets work for the benefit of their citizens. In this podcast, Detter says countries could easily double the amount of money available for infrastructure if assets were properly managed. Detter is co-author of Unlocking Public Wealth, featured in the March 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Dag Detter and Stefan Folster's book The Public Wealth of Nations is published by Palgrave Macmillan.
PHOTO: The city of Boston is one of many cities worldwide to underestimated the value of its public assets. (iStock by Getty images)
Few would argue that workers’ remittances—the money migrants send to family in their home country—improve the lives of millions of people. Remittances amounted to over $400 billion last year. That’s somewhere between official development assistance and foreign direct investment in terms of size. These massive financial flows have important consequences for the economies that receive them. But in this podcast, IMF economist Ralph Chami says remittances can also have a negative impact on growth. Chami is coauthor, with Ekkehard Ernst, Connel Fullenkamp, and Anne Oeking, of Is There a Remittance Trap featured in the September 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Ralph Chami, is an assistant director in the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development.
Studying the market for salt in 19th century India and the effects on trade of a railroad built 150 years ago led economist Dave Donaldson to important new findings that are relevant today. Donaldson was the 2017 John Bates Clark Medalist, awarded for the most significant contributions by an economist under the age of 40. In this podcast, Donaldson talks about his work on trade and how it benefits economic welfare.
A profile of Dave Donaldson, Sherlock of Trade is featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Dave Donaldson is professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
As economic advisor to the government of India, Arvind Subramanian helped design the country’s goods and services tax. In July of last year, the national GST replaced the patchwork of value-added, sales, and excise taxes levied by 29 states and the federal government. In this podcast, Subramanian discusses the benefits of the new tax with the IMF’s Chris Wellisz. He says the tax helped create a single internal market for the first time since independence. Their conversation is also featured in the June 2018 edition of Finance and Development Magazine.
Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India
Only a third of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a bank account, and in this podcast, Tanzania Bank Governor, Benno Ndulu, says the lack of access to financial services is a key constraint on the region’s economic growth. Ndulu is a champion for bringing financial services to the poorest segments of society and as the current Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, he has helped pioneer some of the most innovative policy approaches to extending the financial system to the unbanked. This conversation with Benno Ndulu is featured in the September 2017 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
Contributors: Benno Ndulu, Bank of Tanzania Governor, and Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
While millions of young people enter the labor market every year, the chance of landing a traditional full-time job with benefits are getting slim. Global youth unemployment is on the rise and many young people are opting to work in what’s known as the sharing economy. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde shares her thoughts about policies that might help today’s youth better adapt to the changing nature of work.
Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director
Globalization is a recent term, but the internationalization of markets, people, ideas, and cultures is nothing new. In this podcast, IMF historian Harold James, talks about how the past might help guide us into the future. James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University, and author of New Concept Old Reality published in the December 2016 edition of Finance and Development magazine.
Harold James, Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and IMF Historian
The United Nations estimates the global creative economy in 2011 generated more than $600 billion. In this podcast we speak with Patrick Kabanda, who says a country’s cultural wealth presents a huge development opportunity. Kabanda is author of Music Going for a Song published in the September 2016 edition of Finance & Development Magazine.
Patrick Kabanda, Consultant for the office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank
As robotic technology becomes more sophisticated, robots could soon become perfect substitutes for human labor. In this podcast, IMF economist Andy Berg says the robot revolution could lead to greater inequality. Berg is coauthor of Robots, Growth, and Inequality published in the September 2016 edition of Finance & Development Magazine.
Andy Berg, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development
If high commodity prices alone drove recent advances in Africa, the prospects for further gains seem dim. But in this podcast, Steven Radelet, says the reality is more complex, and the outlook is more varied than many now suggest. Radelet’s article, Africa’s Rise- Interrupted? is published in the June 2016 issue of Finance and Development magazine.
Steven Radelet, holds the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development, and is Director of the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Slumping Chinese demand has African economies scrambling to find alternate sources of revenue. In this podcast, we speak with Roger Nord, Deputy Director of the African Department in the IMF, and coauthor of A Fork in the Road, published in the June 2016 issue of Finance and Development magazine.
Roger Nord, IMF Deputy Director, African Department