Baker Institute expert available to comment on outcome of Indian elections


Jeff Falk

Baker Institute expert available to comment on outcome of Indian elections
Green: High hopes must be tempered by sober reality

HOUSTON – (May 16, 2014) – The outcome of India’s national election this week shows a landslide victory for opposition leader Narendra Modi. While Modi’s election may be interpreted as a big win for India’s economy, reality is more sober, according to Russell Green, the Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and an adjunct assistant professor of economics at Rice.

Green, who served as the U.S. Treasury Department’s first financial attaché to India from 2008 to 2011, is available to comment on the implications of Modi’s election.

“Modi’s election victory in India will be interpreted as a big win for the economy,” Green said. “I expect the Indian media to sing this weekend with fawning hyperbole. Recent Indian financial market effervescence similarly reflects high hopes for reforms that the previous administration neglected. Reality is more sober. It would be hard for Modi to fail to improve India’s economic management, so there is room for optimism. But big wins, tackling the thorniest barriers to growth, remain unlikely.”

Green said that during India’s fast growth of the last decade, the needs of the economy for public goods like power, roads and public administration outpaced the government’s capacity to provide them. “Since 2010, a weak prime minister and corruption scandals further reduced government performance,” he said. “The bottleneck has become so restrictive that investment has nearly ground to a halt.”

To unleash India’s economic potential, the government must address a long and well-known list of reforms, Green said. “Success matters for much more than regaining the glory of a double-digit growth path,” he said. “It matters for job creation, for creating pathways out of poverty for hundreds of millions.”

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Green. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.


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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.