India’s Gold Fetish and Switzerland’s Data Secrecy (technical slides)


In this technical presentation Devesh Kapur, Marla Spivack, Arvind Subramanian, and Milan Vaishnav use trade data to search for an explanation for three intriguing facts about Indian gold imports: i) the increase in gold imports has coincided with a sharp decline in savings; ii) a predominant share of India’s gold imports originate in Switzerland; and iii) there is a large discrepancy between India’s gold imports from Switzerland and Swiss gold exports to India. Benign and malign explanations (not mutually exclusive) emerge, and the authors conclude that increased data transparency is in order.