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MGI in the news

Reports issued by the McKinsey Global Institute are often cited in international media, and MGI authors frequently contribute to leading business publications. We offer a selection of articles below.

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Recent opeds and articles 

Article - Project Syndicate

Reimagining global integration

– Globalization is not in retreat, despite claims to the contrary. Trade flows linked to knowledge and know-how, including data, intellectual property, services, and talent, have replaced manufactured goods, resources, and capital as the primary drivers of interconnection, and firms of all sizes should be able to benefit, write Olivia White and Jonathan Woetzel in Project Syndicate.
Article - Fortune

America’s productivity engine is sputtering. Fixing it is a $10 trillion opportunity

– Since 2005, productivity growth has been lackluster, averaging 1.4% a year, compared to the post-World War II average of 2.2%. That is a problem. Increasing productivity–economic output per unit of input–maintains U.S. competitiveness and improves our quality of life. It is also essential to meet challenges like inflation, debt loads, entitlements, and the energy transition, write Asutosh Padhi and Olivia White in Fortune.
Article - Harvard Business Review

What the most productive companies do differently

– A new report from McKinsey Global Institute finds that U.S. productivity growth has slowed in the last 15 years to 1.4% annual growth (as compared to long-term rates of 2.2% since 1948). It also found striking variations in productivity among leading and lagging firms within each sector — a gap that is only widening, write Charles Atkins, Austosh Padhi, and Olivia White in Harvard Business Review
Article - Forbes

Pixels of Progress: How a microregional perspective can inform your strategy

– Over the last three years, companies have faced a series of challenges and crises, from a global pandemic and supply challenges to inflation and rapidly rising food and energy costs. As companies determine the best strategy for the future and how to adjust operations, understanding what places have grown or shrunk at a more granular level is more important than ever. Having a micro, or pixelated perspective on economic development around the world can help a company see where growth is occurring, identify new talent and consumers, and more accurately target investments. In short, the microregional perspective can inform strategy, propel growth, and increase profits, writes Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - Fortune

To reinvent globalization, companies and countries should think ‘diversifying,’ not ‘decoupling,’ according to McKinsey Global Institute’s research

– The pandemic, Ukraine, geopolitical stress, climate change, and macroeconomic uncertainty: These are turbulent times. No wonder business leaders and policymakers are re-examining everything from their supply chains to their trading patterns. The overarching question, as we see it, is what this means for globalization, write Bob Sternfels and Olivia White in Fortune.
Article - Project Syndicate

What does the world need to achieve sustainable, inclusive growth?

– While some believe that economic growth is incompatible with fighting climate change, only growing economies can produce the financial resources needed to make the transition to a net-zero economy. Accelerating global growth could bring lower-income households into the middle class and build infrastructure to reduce emissions, write Sven Smit, Anu Madgavkar, and Kevin Russell in Project Syndicate.
Article - Project Syndicate

All progress is local

– The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted – and even reversed – progress on improving living standards globally, but it did not extinguish the potential for further gains. With a more granular understanding of how past progress unfolded, we can put ourselves on a path toward fulfilling that potential – and even chart a more efficient course, write Chris Bradley and Marc Canal Noguer in Project Syndicate.
Article - Project Syndicate

Reimagining our global connections

– From Russia’s war on Ukraine to the Sino-American rivalry, the world order is increasingly contested, and when value chains are global, a single disruption can reverberate across the planet. But retreating from interconnectedness is both unworkable and unnecessary, write Olivia White and Jonathan Woetzel in Project Syndicate.
Article - Forbes

Is the world on the brink of a new era?

– Talk about hitting the nail on the head: Collins Dictionary declared “permacrisis” its word of the year for 2022. What better encapsulates what we’ve all been living through than a term for “an extended period of instability and insecurity”? The McKinsey Global Institute recently released a fascinating analysis that offers a way to think about what is unfolding today and what may come out of it, writes Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - The Business Times

Global connections are evolving, not retreating

– SIGNIFICANT disruption to global supply chains in the most intense periods of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, has prompted speculation that economies and companies could choose to deglobalise and decouple. Some strategic repositioning may well occur, but overall, global connections are not retreating but evolving, write Jeongmin Seong and Gautam Kumra in The Business Times.
Article - Forbes

Meet the US workers who are going it alone—and feeling good about it

– A large and growing slice of the American workforce has no employer-provided health care or 401(k)s to build retirement savings, and they have to pay twice as much into Social Security as their peers. These individuals don’t get paid time off and must cover their own business expenses, and their earnings can be subject to unpredictable swings. But here’s the kicker: It turns out that this group is more optimistic than the rest of the US workforce, writes Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - Project Syndicate

The cusp of a new era?

– Years of remarkable progress in health, wealth, education, and the deepening of global interconnections have made people much better off overall. But the world has entered a new period of turbulence, and it remains to be seen what new rules and institutions will emerge from it, writes Chris Bradley in Project Syndicate.
Article - Forbes

Turning around the productivity slowdown 

– We live in a world of instant streaming, overnight delivery, and smart devices. Technological advances have transformed almost every aspect of our lives, and even more so since the COVID-19 crisis. But paradoxically, one big element of the economy isn’t responding: productivity growth, writes Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - Project Syndicate

Cracking the job code

– It may seem counterintuitive for employers to double down on learning and development at a time when workers are becoming more mobile. But recent research across four leading economies suggests that such a strategy is more important than ever, write Christopher Pissarides and Anu Madgavkar in Project Syndicate.
Article - Fast Company

If you want to grow in your career (and lifetime earnings), you need to focus on doing this

– New research from McKinsey that studied the career progression of some 4 million workers over a decade revealed the factors behind dramatic surges in lifetime earnings, write Sven Smit, Anu Madgavkar, and Bill Schaninger in Fast Company.
Article - Forbes

Thinking differently about talent in a tighter labor market

– In such a tight hiring market, companies need more emphasis on retaining and developing their own employees, writes McKinsey Global Institute director Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - Fortune

The best way for companies to build their talent pool: Embrace employee mobility

– People grow and add skills by varying their work experience—in other words, by moving, write Bill Schaninger and Anu Madgavkar in Fortune.
Article - World Economic Forum Agenda

3 ways work experience outsmarts formal education for professional development

– The McKinsey Global Institute used big data to examine 4 million real-world job histories and found that meaningful work experience is critical to human capital development. Effective organizations who prioritize learning and development can have a major impact on whether or not an individual reaches their potential, write Anu Madgavkar and Sven Smit in World Economic Forum Agenda.


Article - Forbes

Here's how leaders can navigate labor shortages and skills mismatches

It’s now been more than two full years since Covid-19 turned the labor market upside down. As the United States tries to get back to normal, what are the job numbers telling us about where we are? Some conflicting trends make things hard to decipher—but there are some clear takeaways and urgent calls to action that leaders can’t afford to ignore, writes Kweilin Ellingrud in Forbes.
Article - Project Syndicate

Addressing Europe's corporate technology gap

– European firms currently lack the scale and agility they need to compete with their US and Chinese counterparts. Wise policymakers would harness the cooperative momentum generated by the Ukraine war and embrace the “transversal technologies” that are crucial to the region’s future prosperity, write Jan Mischke and Jurica Novak in Project Syndicate.
Article - Milken Institute Review

When more may be less

– While the state of national economies is usually measured by GDP or other measures of economic flows like consumption and investment, this research at the McKinsey Global Institute examines macroeconomic vitals from a different perspective: the collective balance sheets of 10 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the U.S.) that generate more than 60 percent of global income. And this view highlights a striking dual paradox that will be of increasing concern over the next decade. First, traditional capital and real estate continue to comprise most of net worth, even as national economies increasingly depend on intangible capital for productivity growth. Second, balance sheets have expanded rapidly over the past two decades, even as economic growth has ratcheted down, write Sven Smit, Jonathan Woetzel, Anu Madgavkar, and Jan Mischke in Milken Institute Review
Article - Mint

Businesses must make net-zero plans to go with our climate goals

– Companies that prepare for the opportunities and risks that India’s net-zero transition entails will raise their odds of thriving, write Rajat Gupta and Suvojoy Sengupta in Mint.
Article - VoxEU

Measuring business: Accounting for companies' value creation and societal impact

There is ongoing debate over how to judge a company's performance beyond profits alone. In this column for VoxEUHans-Helmut Kotz, Michael Birshan, and Kevin Russell devise a way of accounting for who benefits from a company's value creation and why. The authors identify eight pathways through which economic value from corporations flows to households and the economy, and how these have evolved over the past 25 years. The analysis also suggests a growing disparity between types of companies in terms of their impacts on the eight pathways.
Article - Project Syndicate

The anatomy of the net-zero transition

– Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 – and thus limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – implies profound economic and societal shifts. A successful transition would have six key characteristics, writes Mekala Krishnan in Project Syndicate.
Article - Fortune

Climate change: What we will need to spend, and what we will need to change, to reach net zero

– Solving a fundamentally global, borderless problem requires an unprecedented level of global collaboration, write Hamid Samandari and Mekala Krishnan in Fortune.
Article - Nikkei Asia

Asia-Pacific should use its increasing wealth more productively

– More investment in intangible assets will help recalibrate the region's economy, write Jonathan Woetzel and Joydeep Sengupta in Nikkei Asia
Article - The Business Times

What it will cost to get to net-zero

– In economic and social terms, Gautam Kumra and Jonathan Woetzel explain how achieving this goal will impact everyone globally in The Business Times
Article - Fortune

7 questions can help CEOs set the stage for sustainable and inclusive growth

As the world stands at the start of 2022, consider this: Economic growth, if pursued sustainably and inclusively, could be a force for societal good, write Asutosh Padhi, Sven Smit, and Anu Madgavkar in Fortune
Article - Barron's

Global wealth has exploded. Are we using it wisely?

The world is richer than it has ever been, but the way in which we create wealth has changed. Should we be using our wealth more productively? Jonathan Woetzel, Anu Madgavkar and Jan Mischke highlight their research findings in Barron's. 
Article - China Daily

Bold ventures - China has the wealth to make investments to strengthen the social contract, address climate change and stimulate greater economic vitality

– The world's wealth has increased vastly over the past two decades-and nowhere as much as in China. Its share of global net worth was the highest among 10 countries included in MGI’s The Rise and Rise of the Global Balance Sheet report that explores the vitality of the global economy via its balance sheet, write Jonathan Woetzel and Jan Mischke in China Daily.
Article - Project Syndicate

The rise of intangible capitalism

– The digitized, dematerialized, knowledge-based economy is already here and spreading, and offers huge potential value. The challenge for firms and policymakers is to manage the transition in a way that benefits the many and not just the few, write Eric Hazan, Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake in Project Syndicate. 
Article - Brookings

Asia’s consumer map is being redrawn

– Asia is the world’s consumption growth engine—miss Asia and you could miss half the global picture, a $10 trillion consumption growth opportunity over the next decade, write Jeongmin Seong and Tiago Devaso in Brookings Future Development blog.
Article - Bangkok Post

The emergence of new consumer segments and implications for companies in Asia and Thailand

– New research by McKinsey Global Institute finds that consumption in Thailand could grow sharply from US$120 billion a year to US$410 billion over the next decade, write Noppamas (Yam) Sivakriskul and Jeongmin Seong in Bangkok Post.
Article - China Daily

China’s consumption story steadily evolving

– China’s consumption story is evolving. Rising incomes still matter, but the primary feature of the next decade may very well be the impact of sweeping demographic and social change that is coinciding with the rapid march of technology. To find the consumers who will drive China’s growth, you need to look at very different groups of individuals. So who are the consumers who are key to growth? Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong highlight five consumer shifts that matter in China Daily.
Article - World Economic Forum

Fostering sustainable development through open data for finance

– Digital finance has many aspects that can improve the workings of emerging economies and further the cause of sustainable development. Open data for finance, where financial data is shared digitally among financial institutions with limited effort or manipulation, is a powerful tool to that end, write Anu Madgavkar and Olivia White in World Economic Forum.
Article - Barron’s

Shortages of everyday products have become the new normal. Why they won’t end soon.

– Just when consumers think it’s safe to draw down their pandemic reserve of toilet paper, many are finding stockouts and price increases on other products. Unexpected price increases on a wide range of products raise questions about when consumer product markets will return to normal. Authors Jaana Remes and Sajal Kohli highlight new McKinsey Global Institute analysis in Barron's indicating that the pandemic interrupted a long-term rising trend in the share of services in household consumption, triggering an unexpected spike in demand for products. This may not change anytime soon.
Article - Project Syndicate

The promise of open financial data

– Establishing and expanding digital financial data-sharing systems presents complex technical and regulatory challenges. But secure and trusted schemes also offer a large potential upside for consumers, financial institutions, and the economy, write Anu Madgavkar and Olivia White in Project Syndicate
Article - OECD Forum

Open data for finance as an emerging source of GDP growth

– To what extent could open-data ecosystems for finance go beyond greater convenience and easier interactions between financial providers and their customers? Our research suggests that the upside in terms of generating GDP growth is considerable, write Olivia White, Zac Townsend, and Anu Madgavkar in OECD Forum.
Article - The Korea Times

Going it alone: The rise of Asia's solo economy

– Asian consumers are expected to account for half of global consumption growth in the next decade, offering a $10 trillion opportunity. However, the increasing spending power of the region's consumers is not only a story of scale, but also one of diversity and shifting preferences and behaviors caused by powerful demographic, social and economic forces, writes Oliver Tonby in The Korea Times.
Article - Harvard Business Review

Closing the job mobility gap between black and white americans

– Today, Black Americans face stubborn gaps between their economic position and that of white people. Research estimates a $220 billion annual wage disparity versus a parity scenario, with Black workers currently concentrated in low-wage jobs, underrepresented in higher-paying occupations, and paid less than white workers on average within the same occupational categories, especially in managerial and leadership roles. Two initiatives could make a big difference: unblocking pipelines into higher-paying professions and creating pathways to better careers from lower-paying occupations. The authors describe how business leaders can do this to promote Black economic mobility, write Shelley Stewart III, Duwain Pinder, and Michael Chui in Harvard Business Review
Article - World Economic Forum

How defining intangible investments can help grow the knowledge economy

– The definition of intangible assets needs updating to include the knowledge and skills that underpin them. New research shows that companies who invested in these assets are unlocking higher levels of growth. Policymakers can enable economic recovery by helping to define these assets, and by investing in skills and education, write Eric Hazan and Sven Smit in World Economic Forum.
Article - Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

Building national supply chain resilience

– The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of global supply chains and highlighted the public health and national security implications of supply chain vulnerability. Policy reactions have focused on limiting exports and encouraging domestic production. But building supply chain resilience will require a more rigorous assessment of risk and a strategic set of policy actions, writes Susan Lund in Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
Article - Project Syndicate

The stickiness of pandemic-driven economic behavior

– The behavioral changes that persist after the pandemic will offer new business opportunities for firms that carefully assess consumer, industry, and regulatory trends. And policymakers can help the world to boost productivity by extending and improving digital infrastructure and ensuring universal access to it, write Anu Madgavkar and Jaana Remes in Project Syndicate
Article - CNN Business

Here’s how to propel 2 million Black Americans to the middle class

– Eliminating racial barriers for Black Americans could initiate a wave of growth, dynamism and productivity, write Shelley Stewart and Michael Chui in CNN Business.
Article - Market Watch

This is the COVID consumer trend most likely to stick beyond the pandemic

– To determine how enduring pandemic-spurred shifts may be, we examined a wide array of behaviors across five countries – China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States — using a “stickiness” test that takes into account the preferences of consumers and workers as well as the actions of companies, write Jaana Remes and Anu Madgavkar in Market Watch.
Article - Harvard Business Review

Lessons on resilience for small and midsize businesses

– Despite unprecedented challenges, many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world have shown remarkable resilience and capacity to reinvent themselves, write Tera Allas, Michael Birshan, Anthony Impey, Charlie Mayfield, Jan Mischke, and Jonathan Woetzel in Harvard Business Review.
Article - OECD Forum

Five priorities to support economies after the COVID-19 crisis

– Governments have deployed a staggering amount of public money to support economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the path out of the pandemic into recovery and beyond is extremely uncertain. Although economies have proved more resilient than the most pessimistic forecasts, there are very large differences among companies, sectors and countries as well as uncertainty whether this resilience will be sustained. Much depends on choices made by policy makers and business leaders, write Jan Mischke, Eckart Windhagen, and Solveigh Hieronimus in OECD Forum
Article - The Korea Times

McKinsey advises Korean firms to embrace net-zero economy

– Time is running out for Korea's business leaders who don't have a climate strategy, writes Jonathan Woetzel in The Korea Times.
Article - Market Watch

This is a now or never moment to make US manufacturing more competitive

– There’s a brief window to reduce American dependence on fragile, overseas supply chains for critical products in areas like healthcare, tech and defense—and create new jobs to power the American economy, writes Katy George in Market Watch.
Article - Industry Today

Why now is the time to revitalize US manufacturing

– As US factories are struggling to keep up with demand, it’s a now or never moment to make domestic manufacturing more competitive, write Katy George and Eric Chewning in Industry Today.
Article - World Economic Forum

In charts: how economic sentiment has changed during COVID-19

– In McKinsey's latest Global Survey on the economy, executives' views are more positive than they were in March. Globally 73% of respondents believe that conditions in the world economy will improve in the next six months. The share of executives expecting worsening conditions has shrunk by over a half in the past three months, write Sven Smit, Alan FitzGerald, and Vivien Singer in World Economic Forum
Article - World Economic Forum

Two key conditions for a post-pandemic economic recovery

– The future of productivity and economic growth in the US and Europe is uncertain. A trio of economists has reviewed evidence from eight economic sectors to lay out the key conditions for sustained recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. They conclude that the weak productivity growth that followed the Global Crisis can be averted if two conditions are met, write Hans-Helmut Kotz, Jan Mischke, and Sven Smit in World Economic Forum
Article - Project Syndicate

The varieties of consumer revival

– As the greatest economic disruption of this generation, the COVID-19 pandemic also will have a lasting impact – one that may be more varied and divergent than ever before, write Jaana Remes and Sajal Kohli in Project Syndicate.
Article - VoxEU

Pathways for productivity and growth after the COVID-19 crisis

– The future of productivity and economic growth in the US and Europe is uncertain. This column reviews evidence from eight economic sectors to lay out the key conditions for sustained recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. It suggests that the weak productivity growth that followed the Global Crisis can be averted if private and public sectors act together to strengthen demand and diffuse supply-side restructuring to all firms, write Hans-Helmut Kotz, Jan Mischke, and Sven Smit in VoxEU
Article - Project Syndicate

Productivity after the pandemic

– The danger now is that the pandemic-era acceleration of automation and digitalization impedes growth in labor income and consumption, write Laura Tyson and Jan Mischke in Project Syndicate.
Article - Milken Institute Review

The necessity of doing well by doing good

– Serving the interests of stakeholders, employees, communities and the broader public is not necessarily at odds with the imperative of profit, write Jan Mischke, Jonathan Woetzel, and Michael Birshan in Milken Institute Review.
Article - Brookings

What will the consumer demand recovery from COVID-19 look like

– The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented worldwide consumption decline and dramatically changed consumer behavior almost overnight. But what happens once the pandemic is over? Does everything simply return to “normal,” much like flipping a switch? These are questions discussed by Jaana Remes in Brookings
Article - Los Angeles Times

How COVID-19 will change the low-wage labor market permanently

– A sustained recovery to an economy with full employment and ample “good jobs” will require a significant reallocation of workers from the low-wage, low-skill positions that have been eliminated to new ones requiring higher skills and more training, write Laura Tyson and Susan Lund in Los Angeles Times.
Article - Project Syndicate

How to spend $12 trillion

– Although some government pandemic-support programs have combined ambitious design with effective delivery, many fall short in one or both areas, write Anu Madgavkar and Olivia White in Project Syndicate.
Article - Fortune

COVID-19 has driven millions of women out of the workforce. Here's how to help them come back

– While the U.S. economy is looking up as growth rates improve and another stimulus package is being explored, hope for a return to pre-pandemic levels of employment for women is still distant. Recent projections based on economic scenarios modeled by McKinsey and Oxford Economics estimate that employment for women may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024—two full years after a recovery for men, write Kweilin Ellingrud and Liz Hilton Segel in Fortune
Article - Project Syndicate

The promise and peril of the Bio Revolution

– Only by working together can governments, scientists, businesses, and the public unleash the power of biology for good while effectively managing the risks, write Matthias Evers and Michael Chui in Project Syndicate.
Article - China Daily

Transforming world's largest workforce into lifelong learners

– Skills development must be available to everyone everywhere throughout their lives, write Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong in China Daily
Article - Foreign Affairs

COVID-19 could undo decades of women’s progress: How to counter the pandemic’s gender-regressive shock

– Jamille Bigio, Kweilin Ellingrud, Mekala Krishnan, Anu Madgavkar, and Rachel Vogelstein discuss how to counter the pandemic’s gender-regressive shock in Foreign Affairs
Article - Project Syndicate

Long live the Bio-Revolution

– The COVID-19 pandemic has increased threats to food security around the world, underscoring the need for innovation to make agriculture and aquaculture more resilient and efficient, write Michael Chui and Matthias Evers in Project Syndicate.
Article - Project Syndicate

What is driving Asia's technological rise?

– Asia’s rapid emergence as a global technological leader over the last decade is a testament to the power of collaboration, write Jonathan Woetzel and Jeongmin Seong in Project Syndicate.