Emerging mar­kets, such as China, India and Brazil, are prone to suffer cat­a­strophic finan­cial crises within the next 40 years, according to William Shaw, a vis­iting scholar at the Carnegie Endow­ment for Inter­na­tional Peace.

Speaking at the third annual sym­po­sium on emerging mar­kets at Northeastern’s John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute on Thursday, Shaw told some 50 scholars and busi­ness leaders, “Emerging mar­kets lack reg­u­la­tory insti­tu­tions and effec­tive social safety nets” to pre­vent an eco­nomic col­lapse. “We have to antic­i­pate large shocks to the global economy.”

Ravi Rama­murti, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Inter­na­tional Busi­ness and director of Northeastern’s Center for Emerging Mar­kets, orga­nized the pro­gram, which was co-​​sponsored by AIM Inter­na­tional Busi­ness Council and World­Boston. The center is a clear­ing­house for the latest ideas on the busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties springing up in devel­oping inter­na­tional mar­kets around the world.

Shaw based his pre­sen­ta­tion on his new book, “Jug­ger­naut: How Emerging Mar­kets are Reshaping Glob­al­iza­tion.” The rise of emerging mar­kets, he said, poses a series of dif­fi­cult chal­lenges on a world­wide scale.

A rapid increase in labor force par­tic­i­pa­tion in coun­tries such as India, for example, will con­tribute to the wide­spread expan­sion and pros­perity of emerging mar­kets. But labor force growth will also pre­cip­i­tate a mass migra­tion of more finan­cially stable workers to coun­tries like the United States, which, Shaw said, will face the burden of “keeping out illegal immigrants.”

The growth of emerging mar­kets will also have a neg­a­tive impact on the envi­ron­ment, Shaw said. By 2050 — when cli­mate change experts pre­dict the average global tem­per­a­ture will rise by some five degrees — devel­oping nations will be the cause of roughly 50 per­cent of carbon emissions.

It could be calami­tous in terms of inad­ver­tently affec­tion mil­lions of people,” Shaw said. “It’s a very serious dilemma.”

Prob­lems linked to the fate of emerging mar­kets, he said, must be solved by a core group of pol­i­cy­makers in global cap­i­tals of the world, from Bei­jing to Wash­ington, D.C.

As Shaw put it, “Uni­versal con­ces­sions tend to fail. Instead, we need to have an agree­ment among a crit­ical mass of players and have other people come along.”

He had one wish for the sal­va­tion of the world­wide economy. “My hope for mankind is the birth of a global con­scious­ness,” Shaw said. “Oth­er­wise, we are in trouble.”