Originally brought into fashion in the 1980s by then World Bank economist Antoine van Agtmael, the term is sometimes loosely used as a replacement for emerging economies, but really signifies a business phenomenon that is not fully described by or constrained to geography or economic strength; such countries are considered to be in a transitional phase between developing and developed status. Examples of emerging markets include China, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil , Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, much of Southeast Asia, countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, parts of Africa and Latin America. Emphasizing the fluid nature of the category, political scientist Ian Bremmer defines an emerging market as "a country where politics matters at least as much as economics to the markets.
The research on emerging markets is diffused within management literature. While researchers including C. K. Prahalad, George Haley, Hernando De Soto, Usha Haley, and several professors from Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management have described activity in countries such as India and China, how a market emerges is little understood.
In the 2008 Emerging Economy Report the Center for Knowledge Societies defines Emerging Economies as those "regions of the world that are experiencing rapid informationalization under conditions of limited or partial industrialization." It appears that emerging markets lie at the intersection of non-traditional user behavior, the rise of new user groups and community adoption of products and services, and innovations in product technologies and platforms.
In recent years, new terms have emerged to describe the largest developing countries such as BRIC and BRIMC that stand for Brazil, Russia, India, Mexico, and China. These countries do not share any common agenda, but some experts believe that they are enjoying an increasing role in the world economy and on political platforms.
A large number of research works are in progress at leading universities and business schools to study and understand various aspects of Emerging Markets.
It is difficult to make an exact list of emerging (or developed) markets; the best guides tend to be investment information sources like ISI Emerging Markets and The Economist or market index makers (such as Morgan Stanley Capital International). These sources are well-informed, but the nature of investment information sources leads to two potential problems. One is an element of historicity; markets may be maintained in an index for continuity, even if the countries have since developed past the emerging market phase. Possible examples of this are South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, and Tunisia. A second is the simplification inherent in making an index; small countries, or countries with limited market liquidity are often not considered, with their larger neighbours considered an appropriate stand-in.
Newly industrialized countries are emerging markets whose economies have not yet reached first world status but have, in a macroeconomic sense, outpaced their developing counterparts.