James Manyika, Jaana Remes, Jonathan Woetzel

Throughout history, economic growth has been fueled by two factors: the expanding pool of workers and their rising productivity. From the perspective of rising prosperity, however, it is productivity that makes all the difference. Disparities in GDP per capita among countries—or between the past and the present in the same country—primarily reflect differences in labor productivity. That in turn is the result of production and … [ Read more ]

A Productivity Perspective on the Future of Growth

If demography is destiny, global growth is headed for a slowdown. History, however, suggests that productivity could ride to the rescue.

Editor’s Note: an obvously topical article, but one which contains some interesting generalized observations and concepts, so definitely worth a read.

Offshoring and Beyond

Companies that send their back-office jobs offshore often cut their labor costs by as much as half. But new research by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that these companies risk leaving billions of dollars in savings behind if they merely replicate what they do at home in countries where labor is cheap. The savviest operators redesign business processes to exploit automation and take full advantage … [ Read more ]

Beyond Cheap Labor: Lessons for Developing Economies

The specter of China and it’s massive fleet of low-cost laborers haunts developing economies worldwide. However, for middle-income countries, focusing on cheap labor is not the answer for sustained economic growth, according to The McKinsey Quarterly. Using Mexico as a basis for discussion, this report offers alternative strategies for successful competition. More effective routes to economic development involve transitioning to higher-value-added industries, exploiting comparative advantage, … [ Read more ]