Continuity or Change: Leadership Discourse and Policy Analysis at the Helm of Reserve Bank of India
Understanding the evolution of policy over long horizons is an interesting exercise. While it is possible to look at a policy approach ex-ante, many of the decisions of the policy makers are undertaken in response to an emerging situation and several times, there could be initiatives that seemingly have internal contradictions. Additionally, institutions like the Reserve Bank of India would have approaches institutionalised that shape the policy making and thoughts of the leaders at the helm of affairs. Understanding this process through chronological insights and seeing patterns is an exercise that this paper attempts. The paper looks at the speeches delivered by the Governors (and one Deputy Governor) of the RBI to find a pattern and meaning into the series of policy initiatives that the institution is undertaking. In looking at the patterns, the paper tries to build a narrative of an overarching concern that the leaders might have during their tenure. The paper picks up the speeches delivered by leaders at the helm of RBI from 2004 till 2018 and examines the policy discourse to understand the elements of continuity and change.