Emerging economies



Publication Details

Tanima, F. A. & Hopper, T. (2018). Emerging economies. In R. Roslender (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Critical Accounting (pp. 260-282). London: Routledge.


Eighty per cent of the world population, of more than 7 billion people.live on less than $10 a day; nearly 50 per cent on less than $2.50 a day; and more than 1.4 billion receiving less than $1.25 live in extreme poverty. Worldwide, 870 million people have insufficient food to eat. According to the United Nations' Children's Fund (UNICEF) 22,000 children die daily due to poverty. In 1998, the United Nations (UN) estimated that it would cost $40 billion annually (about $58 billion today) to offer basic education, clean water and sanitation, reproductive health, and basic health and nutrition to everyone in every developing country.1 In contrast, world military expenditure in 2012 is circa $1.756 trillion (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Year Book, 2013).Many of these issues, especially poverty and hunger, can be alleviated by direct aid in the form of cash and provisions. This sometimes has merit, for example, a starving person cannot be more productive without greater sustenance, and immediate relief is essential for disasters whether caused by nature or humankind. However, it can only be a limited, temporary solution. If sustained it can create dependency, for example, with refugees refusing to return home when safe for fear that food and services may be more uncertain or lower than in camps. Longer-run development needs to be sustainable so, for example, capital donations such as mechanised boats for fishermen can become abandoned due to insufficient resources or expertise to maintain them. Direct aid may simply treat the symptoms rather than the causes of poverty, which vary between countries.These can include lack of natural resources and capital; unstable and/or ineffective governments; poor infrastructure such as transport and communications; inadequate education and expertise; corruption; barriers to trade; and dependence on foreign governments and/or businesses. Development goes beyond merely economic growth. Its benefits need to leverage up the resources of the poor, not just with respect to income but also, inter alia, their prospects of employment, an improved quality of life, education and literacy, and participation and influence in local and national politics.

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