The latest McKinsey week in Charts

The Tokyo Olympics: One thing that can’t be automated

The eyes of the world are locked on Tokyo for the 2020 (or, if you prefer, 2021) Summer Olympics. Our research reveals that Japan has more jobs at risk of automation than any other country. Pole vaulters and tennis players are safe, for now. But many other job categories are vulnerable.

To read the article, see “The future of work in Japan: Accelerating automation after COVID-19,” July 1, 2020.

Open season

Regulators worldwide have encouraged open banking. The UK regulator has gone furthest; as a result, as of December 2020, the UK had issued some 200 licenses for open-banking APIs, or application programming interfaces—shortcuts that make it easier for software developers to build new applications. EU countries, which were initially less directive about API specifications for developers, have not issued licenses at the same pace.

To read the article, see “Financial services unchained: the ongoing rise of open financial data,” July 11, 2021.

Growth to the rescue

World governments have taken on significant debt to fight COVID-19. But problems from a debt overhang are not inevitable. After World War II in the United States, and in many other examples over time, the debt burden was reduced by driving nominal growth, not by cutting debt.

To read the article, see “Looking beyond the pandemic: Could the world economy gain more than it lost to COVID-19?”, June 14, 2021.

Risk premiums are overrated

Our new analysis suggests that country risk premiums are often set too high by industry analysts, leading to overvaluation—and missed investment opportunities. In this Brazilian example, the difference between S&P 500 and Bovespa price/earnings ratios can be explained entirely by performance. Investors take heed: a risk premium for an emerging-market company may not always be necessary.

To read the article, see “Don’t overthink your approach to valuation in emerging markets,” July 15, 2021.

Digital healthcare: All talk, (mostly) no action

While a majority of healthcare consumers say they prefer digital tools across all healthcare-related activities, the percentage of consumers who actually use digital tools remains low. Some of the largest opportunities to increase digital use include monitoring health metrics, searching for healthcare-provider costs, and scheduling appointments online.

To read the article, see, “How COVID-19 has changed the way US consumers think about healthcare,” June 4, 2021.

Premiums for proteins

It won’t be easy or quick to cut production costs for cultivated meat. Our analysis suggests it could take about a decade for consumers to start paying less for cultivated meat than its conventional counterpart. But consumer uptake could happen much sooner. Already, consumers pay extra for proteins that they believe to be healthier or more sustainable.

To read the article, see “Cultivated meat: Out of the lab, into the frying pan,” June 16, 2021.