حسابداری برای رسیدن به موفقیت و شکست ملی : بازنگری مورد انگلستان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|31||2012||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting Forum, Volume 36, Issue 1, March 2012, Pages 5–17
This article presents some basic political arithmetic on UK economic performance, including empirics on the sources of new job creation and regional differences. These empirics support an argument about the need for new measures and concepts of national success and failure. This is so because, as we show in the UK case, the standard post 1940 economic measures of GDP and unemployment give a seriously misleading picture of national success. This is an opportunity for accountants to join with others in devising new measures and concepts.
We are currently seeing a revival of interest in the national economy in a world which until recently saw globalisation and regional integration within Europe as established and irreversible. History does not repeat itself but the present form of early 21st century globalisation is coming under pressure in the early 2010s much as the pre-1914 form of internationalisation did in the 1920s: accumulating economic imbalances, changed politics within and between major powers, fragile long chains of debt and trade threaten economic crisis and disintegration. Once again, the stability of the international order requires economic adjustments which are beyond the political capacity of the major governmental players and supranational authority, as we see in the case of the on-going euro zone crisis or American down grading, or the Chinese trade surplus. This raises the question about whether and how international and regional troubles will once again lead to a revaluation and rediscovery of the national economy in the 2010s as they did in the 1930s. We do not yet have a 1930s model of national prosperity through autarchy but there are, for example in the UK, growing doubts about whether the national interest is being served by the current pattern of trade and specialisation. Hence after 2008 the British political classes increasingly talk about the need for a ‘rebalancing of the economy’ which means more domestic manufacturing and less dependence on financial services (Froud, Johal, Law, Leaver, & Williams, 2011, pp. 4–12). More recently, opinion has shifted, partly in consequence of the UK government's award of the Thameslink carriage building contract to Siemens that shifted assembly to Germany and the impending redundancies at the Derby train building factory of Bombardier. The result has been media angst and the redefinition of public procurement as an industrial policy issue (e.g. Daily Mail, 16th July 2011; Financial Times, 2011, The Guardian, 2011 and The Observer, 2011). There are many ways of approaching this rediscovery and revaluation of the national economy and this article focuses on issues around the conceptualisation and measurement of national success and failure by presenting empirics and argument about the British case. The article which does this is organised in a relatively straightforward way into four sections plus a conclusion. The first section deals with how the standard economic measures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and unemployment gave false readings of national success before 2008 and did not register unsustainability in the UK. The second section considers the possibility of an alternative business model approach and how this is adumbrated in earlier 1970s discussions of deindustrialisation. Sections three and four then explore different aspects of how standard job creation and unemployment measures obscure key aspects of the UK's current national problems. In particular, they do not register the dependence of much new private sector employment on public funding which directly sustains the state sector; nor do unemployment rates capture the broader problem of surplus population and dependence on benefits in the ex-industrial areas of the North and West. A short conclusion suggests that the irrelevance of standard economic measures is an opportunity for socially minded accountants and others to devise new and more relevant measures and concepts. The discussion of the British case is of broader interest because it raises issues about national success and failure which are relevant to other high income capitalist countries; and also about whether and how the national economy is the relevant unit of analysis.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article makes an argument and presents illustrative empirics on the British case which shows how the standard economic measures of GDP and unemployment can be misleading measures of national success and failure. Or, more exactly, that these measures are misleading when they are abstracted from context and read uncritically, as they were in Britain before the financial crisis because they then assumed a specific capitalist context (with, for example an autonomous private sector) which did not exist in the British case. This basic point needs to be made clearly because all the misunderstandings from the pre-2008 period are being carried over into solutions, insofar as the standard Left Keynesian fix for recession in 2008, or double dip in 2011, is reflation to boost GDP and generate employment. As readers of this article will understand, this kind of generic preference does not engage with the structural specifics of trade constraint and private sector anaemia in the British case. The implication is that we need to engage national specifics via new measures and a more sophisticated reading of existing measures. As this article demonstrates, this kind of shift is perfectly practical and immediately within the realm of the possible because it requires not so much a radical change of paradigm but a progressive kind of bricolage which puts together different existing series, reworks figures by estimation and thereby puts together a case specific understanding of what drives and limits employment creation in different national cases. These are good reasons for putting this kind of political arithmetic at the centre of a revitalised economics, but it is also true that the current cadre of economists (mainstream or behavioural) have invested their intellectual capital in other methods and objects so that they are probably incapable of the necessary shift. Is this not then a huge opportunity for a new generation of socially minded accountants? After all, their core skills already include the capacity to read through company accounts and contextual information so that they see how bottom line results are produced; and many of these company accounts skills should be transposable to reading national accounts. And, when it comes to the formulation of new measures, accountants are well qualified to propose modifications and supplements. If national income accounting was devised by economists in the 1940s, the proposers of value added accounting frameworks in the 1970s, like Cox (1979) and Gray and Maunders (1980), demonstrated the role that accountants and engineers can have in devising new and socially relevant measures of welfare and distribution. If accountants can move outside their comfort zones in financial reporting and in critical commentary, they could now make a major contribution.