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Podcasts

Welcome to ERSA’s Conversation Series. In these conversations, we explore topical economic issues and see how they affect our daily lives here in South Africa. Speaking to experienced and knowledgeable people in the field, we gain perspectives and insights from both a practical and a policy level.

Where does a quarter of the IMF’s Capacity Development Budget go?

Date recorded: 
Fri, 04 December 2020

In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Dr Biniam Bedasso about Public Finance Management, which plays a significant role in reducing inequality in an economy. You may be familiar with the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Program from 2001, but in this podcast, we look at the developments that have taken place since then to accommodate the distinct needs of developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Managing the finances of a country is complicated to say the least, especially if an environment is plagued by corruption. Biniam unpacks CABRI’s PFM Capabilities framework and explains why Public Finance Management matters not only to the IMF or officials, but also to civilians. This podcast is sure to broaden your knowledge on what it means to problem solve in a...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.

Attention South Africa: Lessons and challenges from Structural Reforms in Italy

Date recorded: 
Mon, 30 November 2020

After its sovereign debt crisis in 2011, Italy experienced its worst recession since World War II. With the labour market heavily dependent on the manufacturing sector and facing decreasing productivity and growing inequality, Italian policy makers were given the opportunity to turn the situation around. In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Dr Filippo Taddei, an Associate Prof. of International Economics at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), who recently moved to the European Team at Goldman Sachs as a Senior Economist for Southern Europe. Filippo and his team were key players in designing and implementing the structural reforms that enabled the Italian labour market to improve significantly. In this podcast, Filippo shares this experience and explains how...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.

Immigration and political preferences in South Africa

Date recorded: 
Wed, 11 November 2020

During the past week the buzz word has been ‘voting’, given the nail-biting US elections that have recently taken place. In this podcast, ERSA’s host speaks to Dr Biniam Bedasso who is an expert on South African voting behaviour. As the foundation of democracy, we must be aware of how voting behaviour changes in both young and mature democracies. With a global rise of anti-foreigner sentiment over recent years, this podcast explores how the concentration of immigrants affects political preferences and voting behaviour in South Africa. In addition to explaining his research which uses a novel panel dataset, Biniam touches on both the theoretical and practical aspects of the evolution of voting behaviour. There is also some advice for the incumbent and opposition parties, for those of...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.

Dr Daan Steenkamp explains Nowcasting

Date recorded: 
Mon, 26 October 2020

With the unprecedented level of uncertainty in the economy, the ability to adapt has never been more important. This is especially true in the world of forecasting. In this podcast, ERSA’s host is joined by Dr Daan Steenkamp, a Lead Economist at the South African Reserve Bank, and together they discuss a recent trend in forecasting called nowcasting. Daan delves into the details of this statistical technique and refers to his research, the slides of which can be found below. This podcasts explores how economists can benefit from machine learning and big data. It would not be complete without some talk on artificial intelligence. For those curious about the world of economic modelling, this podcast is for you! We hope you enjoy.Read more

For slides, click here.

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.

Prof Scott Baker on measuring economic policy uncertainty

Date recorded: 
Fri, 16 October 2020

Levels of uncertainty have existed throughout time yet measuring uncertainty in the past has posed many challenges. An Associate Professor of Finance from Kellogg School of Management, Prof. Scott Baker, joined ERSA’s host to discuss his novel method for measuring economic policy uncertainty. This powerful and flexible method means not only that economic policy uncertainty, but also the specific effects thereof on the economy can be measured. In his research, Scott has identified the general trend of uncertainty, its drivers, and how the level of uncertainty during the Covid 19 pandemic compares to that of other phases of history, such as Brexit or the Great Depression. For any policy maker interested in incorporating the effects on uncertainty into their policies, this podcast is not...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io.