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Arvind Subramanian: Is the Modi miracle overrated?

On an important governance measure, there is a Nitish Kumar effect, a Naveen Patnaik effect, but no Modi effect

Robert Solow, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, once quipped that one could see the computer age everywhere “except in the productivity statistics”. Narendra Modi’s much-touted Gujarat governance miracle (2002 apart, of course) raises a similar puzzle, which can be posed as follows: in the tax collection data, why can one see a Raman Singh effect, a Nitish Kumar effect, a Naveen Patnaik effect, but not a Narendra Modi effect? In ongoing research with Utsav Kumar of the Asian Development Bank, we look at one dimension of governance, namely the ability to raise taxes. ...