Knowledge, Wealth and Information: The Case for Global Corporate Disclosure Standards

Allen White

Though the contours of corporate obligations are gradually becoming more sharply delineated, the absence of accountability and enforceability at the international level remains a major stumbling block to achieving parity between rights and obligations. This paper argues for global disclosure standards as an integral part of such accountability. It uses the pharmaceutical industry as a case study, focusing in particular on the social cost of non-disclosure. Although the contours of a generally accepted disclosure framework are identifiable, details of sector-specific disclosures remain fluid. The issues need to be articulated, the indicators defined, and the measurement protocols developed.