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Pocket Economics: a guide to changing lives

Listen to leading economists and experts discuss the ideas that shape key development challenges in the EBRD regions and beyond. Latest episodes are available on iTunes or in the player below.

Listen to the new Pocket Dilemmas podcast

Episode 33: Refugees and their hosts

07 June 2018

Description: In the new episode of our ‘Pocket Economics’ podcast, we discuss the challenges faced by refugees and the communities that host them. How can the private sector and international organisations help? Listen to Daphne Jayasinghe in conversation with Vanora Bennett.

Episode 32: Thinking about the world in 2018

17 May 2018

Description: In this special ‘live’ edition of our podcast Pocket Economics, the EBRD’s Jonathan Charles discusses the challenges our world is currently facing with the FT’s Neil Buckley and, also from the EBRD, Sergei Guriev, Alexia Latortue and Tarek Osman.

Episode 31: The future of development finance- part 2

25 April 2018

Description: In the second part of our review of the future of development finance Owen Barder, Vice President at the Center for Global Development, discusses its current goals and challenges with Jonathan Charles. What needs to be done and what can the EBRD and other Multilateral Development Banks do better? Can we deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by their 2030 deadline?

Episode 30: What is green growth and why do we need it?

06 April 2018

Description: Is environmental protection compatible with continued global economic growth? Are economies put on a path to green growth? And which countries are leading the green race? Listen to Sam Fankhauser, Professor at the LSE and Co-Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in conversation with Vanora Bennett.

Episode 29: The future of development finance

20 March 2018
Description: What is the future of development finance? How important is the private sector to our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? In this edition of our ‘Pocket Economics’ podcast, Jonathan Charles discusses these and other topics with a very special guest, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the EBRD President.

Episode 28: Does gender matter in lending?

14 March 2018

Description: A new episode of the ‘Pocket Economics’ podcast examines whether women are discriminated against when applying for loans. Do banks treat women and men differently? Listen to Ralph de Haas in conversation with Jonathan Charles.

Episode 27: Integration and the Western Balkans

27 February 2018

Description: In this special edition of the Pocket Economics podcast, Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, shares with Jonathan Charles her thoughts on regional integration and the Western Balkans.


Episode 26: The rise of populism

15 February 2018

Description: Is populism a threat, something we should be afraid of? Or a corrective for democracy when it stops working as it should? Listen to Sergei Guriev in conversation with Jonathan Charles.


Episode 25: Youth and gender inclusion in a changing world

31 January 2018

Description: How can we ensure equal opportunities in an unequal, increasingly changing world? Listen to Barbara Rambousek in conversation with Jonathan Charles.

Episode 24: How to escape the middle-income trap

18 January, 2018

Description: Is the ‘middle-income trap’ a myth or a reality afflicting many countries? Listen to Alexander Plekhanov in conversation with Jonathan Charles.

Episode 23: Private equity in emerging markets

21 December, 2017

Description: How can equity help companies? Listen to Çağatay Bircan, Principal Economist at the EBRD, discuss impact investing, the recent trends in private equity and whether equity has grown in emerging markets, with Vanora Bennett.

Episode 22: China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative

07 December, 2017

Description: What is China’s Belt and Road Initiative and how is it reshaping the world as we know it? Listen to our Managing Director for Economics, Policy & Governance, Mattia Romani, describe what is arguably China’s most ambitious economic and foreign policy project since the founding of the People’s Republic.

Episode 21:How to prevent the next financial crisis

20 November, 2017

Description: Are financial crises predictable? What conclusions can be drawn from the 2008 financial crisis and how can we prevent the next one? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Tamim Bayoumi, deputy director at the International Monetary Fund.

Episode 20: The Great Soviet Experiment

09 November, 2017 

Description: What lessons can be drawn from the 1917 Russian Revolution and the seven decades of Soviet rule that followed it? Listen to a very special episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s very own Sergei Guriev.

Episode 19: The economic impact of natural disasters

01 November, 2017

Description: What is the economic impact of natural disasters? How will the 21st century’s economic cycle and its weather cycle influence each other in an era of global warming? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Chief Economist and Vanora Bennett.

Episode 18: The corruption cycle

11 October, 2017

Description: Does corruption beget more corruption? Why culture matters and what makes the difference between success and failure when a country is fighting corruption? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Nicolas Ajzenman from Sciences Po University, Paris.

Episode 17: Innovation in firms, a recipe for growth

25 September, 2017

Description: How do we define and measure innovation in firms? Why are companies afraid of innovating? What holds them back and how can we boost creativity, the driving force behind innovation? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Director of Research, Ralph de Haas.

Episode 16: The best of Pocket Economics

15 August, 2017

Description: This special episode contains some of the highlights of our first year, the perfect soundtrack for your summer holiday! Over the last 12 months the podcast has examined everything from microfinance to economic resilience and life satisfaction to the social contract in the Middle East and North Africa. 

Episode 15: How to perform the transition to a market economy

20 July, 2017

Description: How should countries make the transition to market economies? How should they respond to the challenges of globalisation? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Chief Economist Sergei Guriev.

Episode 14: A new social contract for the Middle East and North Africa

June 26, 2017

Description: How has the idea of a social contract been interpreted in the MENA region? Did the uprisings in the Arab world in 2010-11 come as a surprise to economists? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Chief Economist Sergei Guriev and the World Bank’s Chief Economist Shanta Devarajan.

Episode 13: Courts and the economy

June 07, 2017

Description: What takes place behind the courts’ walls and how does this affect the performance of a market economy? How do we measure how effective a justice system is? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Peter Grajzl from Washington and Lee University

Episode 12:Economic inclusion or equal opportunities for all

May 22, 2017

Description: Why is economic inclusion one of the defining challenges of our time across the EBRD regions and beyond? What is the EBRD doing to close the inclusion gap? How does it affect the democratic process and institutions? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Lead economist focusing on Inclusion Barbara Rambousek.

Episode 11: Why 'secular stagnation' matters

April 11, 2017

Description: What does secular stagnation mean for a market economy? What causes it and how could countries overcome it? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Sergei Guriev.

Episode 10: How to make economies more resilient

March 20, 2017

Description: What does resilience mean for a market economy? How can it become truly resilient to shocks and global challenges? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Mattia Romani and Bojan Markovic.

Episode 9: Helping women in business

March 10, 2017

Description: What challenges do women entrepreneurs face? What does it take to succeed as a woman in business? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with the EBRD’s Charlotte Ruhe.

Episode 8: The cost of the gay pay gap

February 21, 2017

Description: What does it mean to be gay or lesbian in the modern workplace? How does sexuality affect salary levels? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Cevat Giray Aksoy, Principal Economist at the EBRD, Researcher at the London School of Economics (LSE) and an expert on inequalities in the labour market.

Episode 7: Empowering families and driving global growth

February 13, 2017

Description: What is family empowerment? What role do families play in shaping modern economies? Listen to the latest episode of Pocket Economics with Oriana Bandiera, Professor of Economics at London School of Economics (LSE) and an expert on poverty reduction, inclusion and labour policies.

Episode 6: Life satisfaction and the pursuit of happiness

January 10, 2017

Description:  What makes us happy and how should we measure life satisfaction?

EBRD Chief Economist Sergei Guriev explains the findings of our Life in Transition Survey, the largest of its kind ever carried out in the EBRD regions.

Episode 5: Gender Equality

December 6, 2016

Description: What is gender equality and why does it matter?

The EBRD’s Chief Counsellor for Social Issues  and the Director of its Gender team, Michaela Bergman, discusses the importance of gender equality in encouraging economic growth.

Episode 4: Inequality and how to fight it

November 16, 2016

Description: How does inequality affect economic growth, the fate of reforms and people’s happiness?

EBRD Chief Economist Sergei Guriev discusses inequality and globalisation.  Inequality is the central theme of the EBRD’s Transition Report 2016-17.


Episode 3: Climate finance: picking up the tab for climate change 

October 25, 2016

Description: How much will it cost to combat climate change? And who should pay the bill? Who should contribute more: developed or developing countries?

Climate change is fast, expensive and the scale of the challenge is enormous.

In this episode Mattia Romani, EBRD Managing Director for Economics, Policy and Governance, former Chief Economist of the Global Green Growth Institute, explains how we can finance the battle against climate change.

Episode 2: Political Economy and Reforms: the popularity paradox

October 4, 2016

Description: Do reformers have to be popular to be successful? It’s a conundrum thinkers have agonised over for centuries.

Our guest, the EBRD’s Chief Economist, Sergei Guriev, looks at how the concept of political economy has evolved and discusses the dynamic between rulers, ruled and reforms.

He also analyses the importance of leaders’ popularity in both democratic and authoritarian regimes and previews our next Transition Report, which focuses on inequality.  

Episode 1: Microfinance- a long disputed “miracle cure” for global poverty

September 21, 2016

Description: Microcredit used to be regarded as a tool that, by funding the creation and expansion of microenterprises, could help lift households out of poverty. However, in recent years, the notion that microfinance is a “miracle cure” has been subject to intense debate.

Ralph De Haas, EBRD’s Head of Research, author of numerous publications on microcredit including ‘Microcredit: neither miracle nor mirage’ helps us shed light on this complex issue.

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