Journal Article

Fair value accounting and fair trade: an analysis of the role of International Accounting Standard No. 41 in social conflict

Charles Elad

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 5, issue 4, pages 755-777
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwm013
Fair value accounting and fair trade: an analysis of the role of International Accounting Standard No. 41 in social conflict

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  • Moral Philosophy
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The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of accounting pronouncements that indicate that accounting rule-makers around the world are progressively abandoning the traditional historic cost model and actively embracing the fair value paradigm. In this regard, Barlev and Haddad (2003) argued that fair value accounting has the capacity to enhance the stewardship function by providing relevant information to stakeholders, thus alleviating social conflict. It is contended here that far from reducing conflict and alienation in the agricultural sector, the fair value approach is underpinned by neoclassical economic ideals that are not conducive to emancipatory accounting. Drawing upon Marx's notion of commodity fetishism, this paper analyses the ideological role of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 41 in legitimating social conflict in the context of fair trade coffee and forestry companies that were compelled by domestic legislation to adopt a full-fledged fair value accounting model in conformity with structural adjustment reforms instituted by the World Bank.

Keywords: international accounting standards; fair value accounting; commodity fetishism; corporate finance; trade; internationalization; World Bank; Q13 agricultural markets and marketing; cooperatives; agribusiness; Q17 agriculture in international trade; Q18 agricultural policy; food policy

Journal Article.  8515 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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