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Research Interests

Development Economics, Religion, Demography, Education


Sriya received a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2000); Serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture; Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Awarded a Population Council Social Science Research Fellowship (1998-1999), a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2000-2003), and grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust, and the Cambridge-INET Institute. She was awarded a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2014.

Recent Publications

Published Papers

Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, (2020) Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming
Iyer, S. and Weeks, M. Social Interactions, Ethnicity, Religion and Fertility in Kenya, (2020) Journal of Demographic Economics
Chaudhary, L., Rubin, J., Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Culture and Colonial Legacy: Evidence from Public Goods Games, (2020) Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Fruehwirth, J., Iyer, S. and Zhang, A. Religion and Depression in Adolescence, (2019) Journal of Political Economy
Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Religious Riots and Electoral Politics in India, (2018) Journal of Development Economics
Iyer, S. The new economics of religion, (2016) Journal of Economic Literature

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Gair, J. R., Iyer, S. and Velu, C. Probabilistic Choice Models, (2021) CWPE2102
Friedman, D., Fan, J., Gair, J., Iyer, S., Redlicki, B. and Velu, C. A Simulation Study of How Religious Fundamentalism Takes Root, (2020) CWPE2089
Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, (2020) CWPE2084
Ticku, R., Shrivastava, A. and Iyer, S. Economic Shocks and Temple Desecrations in Medieval India, (2018) CWPE1862
Chaudhary, L., Rubin, J., Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Culture and Colonial Legacy: Evidence from Public Goods Games , (2018) CWPE1855

Authored Book

Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in India, (2018) - Harvard University Press
Iyer, S. Demography and Religion in India, (2002) - Oxford University Press

Chapter in Book

Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in Developing Countries, (2020), forthcoming in Religion and Flourishing. Edited by A. Cohen - Baylor University Press
Iyer, S. Religion and Demography, (2019), forthcoming in Advances in the Economics of Religion. Edited by J-P Carvalho, Sriya Iyer, J Rubin - Palgrave Macmillan
Iyer, S. Religion and Institutions, (2018), in A Research Agenda for the New institutional Economics. Edited by Claude Menard, Mary Shirley - Edward Elgar Publishers
Iyer, S., Joshi, S. and Do, Q. Why marry a cousin? Insights from Bangladesh, (2013), in Marrying in South Asia: Shifting Concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalising World. Edited by Ravinder Kaur, Rajni Parliwala - Orient Blackswan
Iyer, S. Gender, religion, and the age at marriage in India, (2009), in Gender and Discrimination: Health, Nutritional Status and Role of Women in India. Edited by M Pal, P Bharati, B Ghosh, T - Oxford University Press

Edited Books

eds. Carvalho, J-P, Iyer, S. and Rubin, J. Advances in the Economics of Religion, (2019) - Palgrave Macmillan

Research Activities

Ideas of India Podcast
Dr Sriya Iyer was interviewed by Dr Shruti Rajagopalan for the Ideas of India podcast (Mercatus Center, Washington DC). They spoke about Dr Iyer's "The Economics of Religion" book and the links between economics and religion in India and the rise of Hindu nationalism. You can read and listen to the interview on the Mercatus Discourse website.
Published on - Thursday 1st October 2020

ASREC 24 hour Conference Event - Call for Papers
The Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, And Culture (ASREC) will hold a 24 hour virtual conference on the 20th November 2020. Ahead of this event, they have just released a Call for Papers. The deadline to submissions is the 18th September 2020. Dr Sriya Iyer is part of the Organizing Committee for the Europe/Africa/MENA regions.
Published on - Thursday 2nd July 2020

COVID Economics Alumni Webinar Series
Cambridge-INET and Dr. Meredith Crowley are hosting a series of public lectures for Cambridge Alumni. The fifth of these webinars "How do Personal Attributes Affect an Individual's Engagement with Society Under COVID?", will take place on Friday 12th June 2020, at 1.00pm and feature talks by Dr Sriya Iyer and Dr Weilong Zhang. Please see the Cambridge-INET COVID Economics Alumni webinar series webpage for details.
Published on - Monday 1st June 2020

Economics of Religion in India - DFID Video
Dr. Sriya Iyer was invited by the Chief Economist's Office at the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to give a talk on her research on the economics of religion in India. The talk took place on the 9th March 2020 in London and before the talk Anna Rudge (a Senior Economic Adviser to the Chief Economist), conducted a 3-minute interview with Dr. Iyer on her main research findings.
Published on - Wednesday 11th March 2020

Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2020
Registration for the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2020 in Belfast from April 6th-8th is now open HERE. The Annual Conference brings together hundreds of academic and professional economists to present the latest developments in economics. Dr. Sriya Iyer is Deputy Chair for the RES Annual Conference 2020.
Published on - Tuesday 11th February 2020

Research Grants

The Next RES Research Initiative: Expanding the Advancements Made in the Economic Study of Religion and Religious Markets (John Templeton Foundation)
Modernizing The Madrasa In India (Isaac Newton Trust)

Keynes Fund Sponsored Projects

Iyer, S., Cavalcanti, T. V. D. and Rauh, C., How Important are Religious Organisations as Insurance? (JHOT)
Iyer, S., Bahal, G. and Shrivastava, A., Religion and Covid-19 (JHUW)


PI Paper 4 - Lent - Political and Social Institutions
PIIB Paper 8 - Themes in Development Economics
MPhil S500 Development
MPhil F530 Venture Capital

PhD Students


Jamie Moore
PhD Title:
Research: Microeconometrics, Machine Learning, Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics, and Networks


Benjapon Prommawin
PhD Title: An Essay on International Reserves Adequacy for Emerging Asian Countries

Dr Sriya Iyer

University Reader in Economics

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Personal Site:

Contact Details
Room: 40
Office Hours: Email for appointment
College: Fellow of St. Catharine's College

Women in Economics