The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) today launches a new podcast titled “Pocket Economics – a guide to changing lives”.
The series of short discussions, available on our podcast page, SoundCloud and iTunes, will bring together leading economists and experts to discuss the ideas that shape key development challenges in the EBRD regions and beyond.
The conversations between guests and Jonathan Charles, EBRD’s Managing Director, Communications, will focus on topics central to the development agenda, among them inequality, climate finance and political economy and reforms.
The first episode examines the notion that microfinance is a “miracle cure” for global poverty. Our guest Ralph De Haas, the EBRD’s Head of Research, analyses the effectiveness of microcredit, looks at the benefits of peer pressure in group lending vs individual loans and the use of microcredit as a development tool rather than a consumer loan product.
“Microfinance is not lifting people out of poverty on a large scale but it’s also not harming people in a structural way. It’s a useful financial product,” he says.
“There is a demand for it and people are using it to make their lives less risky.”
The next episode will feature the EBRD’s Chief Economist Sergei Guriev and look at the evolution of political economy and the importance of governments’ popularity to their ability to prosecute reforms. Do successful reformers also have to be popular?
The EBRD’s strategic plan for the period 2016-18 has three priorities: strengthening economic resilience, addressing global challenges and supporting regional integration.
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