Technological innovation like automation using robots to produce goods and provide services creates tremendous opportunities for businesses. But as the cost of producing robots goes down, is this technology widening the income gap? Economist Arnaud Costinot has been studying technological change and its impact on inequality, and in this podcast, he discusses how a robot tax might help better distribute the benefits of artificial intelligence, or AI technologies. Arnaud Costinot is a Professor of Economics at MIT, and coauthor of Robots, Trade, and Luddism: A Sufficient Statistic Approach to Optimal Technology Regulation. Costinot was invited to present his research at the IMF.
While sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world in access to finance, some countries in the region are bucking the trend thanks to advancements in financial technology known as Fintech. Mobile technology has made sub-Saharan Africa the global leader in mobile money transfer services, helping provide financial services to millions previously off the formal financial grid. A new IMF study shows Fintech is emerging as a technological enabler, improving financial inclusion and serving as a catalyst for innovations in other sectors. In this podcast, economist Amadou Sy, says Fintech could be a real game changer for the region. Sy is an Advisor in the African Department at the IMF, and headed this new research on the impact of Fintech in Sub-Saharan African Countries.
Amadou Sy, is an Advisor in the IMF’s African Department.
Advances in technology are already shaking up the landscape for jobs in many regions around the world. But with its rapidly growing population, sub-Saharan Africa stands to be particularly impacted by the wave of technological innovation known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how technology and other factors like climate change and trade might affect the region’s job market. Economist Axel Schimmelpfennig led the study on the future of work, and in this podcast he says one of the challenges for the region is to support those workers who are being dislocated by technological change.
This new research will be discussed at the Future of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa conference in Ghana, Dec. 17, 2018.
Axel Schimmelpfennig is a Division Chief, and heads the Uganda team in the IMF’s Africa department.
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.
Estonians rarely stand in line for anything anymore. Estonia ranks among the most digitally advanced countries in the world and virtually all government services are now offered online. Estonia is also where Skype was born. In this podcast, Estonia’s Chief Information Officer, Siim Sikkut talks about how technology has transformed Estonia’s economy, and an e-residency program that is wooing more start-ups. Read more about Estonia’s remarkable digitalization process in the March 2018 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.
Siim Sikkut is Estonia’s Chief Information Officer.
While technology is reshaping economies around the world, a recent book published by the World Bank suggests developing countries are missing out on a huge opportunity. In this podcast, economist William Maloney, says the potential returns on investment into Research and Development by developing countries are astounding, and could dwarf international aid flows. Yet, developing country firms and governments invest very little toward realizing this potential. Maloney is Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group, and co-author of The Innovation Paradox. He was a guest lecturer at the IMF’s Developing Economies Seminar Series.
William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group
There are many layers to development. Sometimes there’s a need where the solution is not at all obvious. But other times it’s simply about connecting the dots- when the solution is available but out of reach due to the lack of infrastructure like roads, power lines or telephone wires. Technology is helping connect those dots more than ever before, and the phenomenon has come to be known as leapfrogging. In this podcast, we hear from the people behind Zipline, a start-up that uses drones to make emergency blood deliveries to remote clinics in Rwanda.
Blockchain technology is a shared, public ledger of transactions that’s open to inspection but not subject to any form of central control. And while it offers potential for a variety of applications, its most famous is providing the platform for virtual currencies like bitcoin. Peter Smith is co-founder and CEO of Blockchain, and in this podcast, he talks about the evolution of crypto currency financial systems and what it could mean for big data analytics. Smith was the keynote speaker at the IMF’s Fifth Statistical forum on Measuring the Digital Economy.
Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain.
When the government of India last year declared that much of its currency in circulation would cease to be legal tender, digital transactions surged. Mobile payment platforms like PayTM stepped in to fill the void, and in the process are providing financial services to millions of people unable to open a traditional bank account. In this podcast, PayTM’s Madhur Deora, says financial technology is having an impact on India’s development. Deora joined a seminar about Fintech, during the IMF World-Bank Annual Meetings.
Madhur Deora, PayTM Chief Financial Officer
More than two billion people worldwide are without bank accounts, and only one in three adults in sub-Saharan Africa have access to any type of financial services. But Tayo Oviosu, Founder of Nigeria’s leading mobile payment platform says financial technology—or fintech, is making access to finance possible for millions of un-banked Nigerians.
Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, Nigeria’s mobile payment platform.
Watch webcast of IMF World-Bank Spring meetings panel on Digital Financial Inclusion
While science and technology propel us into the future at what some would describe as breakneck speed, Oxford University’s Ian Goldin says we should draw from the past because we’ve been here before. In this podcast, Goldin compares the social division, political extremism and insecurity of the first Age of Discovery in the 15th Century, with what is happening today.
Ian Goldin, founding director of the Oxford Martin School, and Professor of Globalization and Development at Oxford University.
FinTech—or financial technology—is poised to revolutionize how the world does business. It could open new kinds of markets to many more people, but it could also threaten our financial privacy or make illicit financial transactions easier. In this podcast, Fintech expert Patrick Murck describes the coming transformation and its pitfalls.
Patrick Murck, fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and a Special Counsel at Cooley LLP.
The labor force 30 years from now will look very different as working-age populations in advanced economies start to shrink. While some today worry they’ll lose their jobs to robots, economists like Google’s Hal Varian, wonder if technology will boost productivity enough to compensate for the shifting demographics. Varian, and Harvard’s David Canning, discussed the topic during an IMF World-Bank Spring Meetings seminar earlier this month.
Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist and an Emeritus Professor at UC Berkeley.
David Canning, Professor of Population Sciences, Economics and Intl Health, Harvard University, Department of Global Health and Population.
In this podcast we speak with author Alec Ross about his new book The Industries of the Future. Ross says 90 percent of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years, so those businesses that own or harvest a meaning from all this data will be leading the pack. Ross has served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the US Secretary of State.
Alec Ross, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.
In this podcast, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil talks about how artificial intelligence is helping overcome human limitations and creating better-paying jobs. Kurzweil participated in a panel discussion entitled Technology, Innovation, and Inclusive Growth, during the 2016 IMF World-Bank Annual Meetings.
Ray Kurzweil: Inventor, futurist, and author.