McKinsey on Government, Number 7

Jurisdictions around the world face significant fiscal challenges. As a result of expenditures growing faster than revenues, political leaders are struggling to find the resources needed to invest for growth. More proactive management of government finances can be transformational in every part of the world. The seven articles in this compendium provide practical insights and solutions across the spectrum of public-finance activities.

Articles in this issue


Fiscal resilience: Tools to manage state budgets in an age of uncertainty

– When the next economic downturn comes, states will need to be more deliberate about how they manage expenditures and revenues than ever before.

How smart choices on taxation can help close the growing fiscal gap

– The growing fiscal gap has policy makers in a difficult position. Swift action in a few areas can help them improve the operational efficiency of fiscal systems.

Spending reviews: A more powerful approach to ensuring value in public finances

– Spending reviews have the potential to provide significant insight into budget allocations, enabling higher productivity and greater operational efficiency.

Social spending: Managing a $5 trillion challenge

– Spending on social priorities, such as pensions, unemployment support, and disability, account for a large portion of government expenditure, yet many services fail to meet customer expectations.

How customs agencies can help special economic zones succeed

– When agencies have a seat at the table and participate in areas such as governance and stakeholder relations, these zones have the best chance of promoting economic growth.

Unlocking private-sector financing in emerging-markets infrastructure

– Three levers can help governments and development finance institutions increase private-sector financing for infrastructure, narrowing some of the sector’s largest investment gaps.

Unlocking Africa’s $100 billion public-finance opportunity

– African governments face stagnant tax revenues and rising public debt. Yet they have wide scope to reform tax systems and improve spending efficiencies. Across Africa, public-finance transformation could deliver $100 billion a year in new revenues and savings.