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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

Fruehwirth, J., Iyer, S. and Zhang, A. Religion and Depression in Adolescence, (2019) Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming
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
Iyer, S., Velu, C. and Mumit, A. Communication and Marketing of Services by Religious Organizations in India, (2014) Journal of Business Research
Adamou, A., Drakos, C. and Iyer, S. Missing women in the United Kingdom, (2013) IZA Journal of Migration
Do, Q., Iyer, S. and Joshi, S. The Economics of Consanguineous Marriages, (2013) Review of Economics and Statistics

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

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
Iyer, S., Shrivastava, A., Ticku, R. Holy Wars? Temple desecrations in Medieval India, (2017) CWPE1705
Friedman, D. and Fan, J. and Gair, J. and Iyer, S. Redlicki, B and Velu, C. How Fundamentalism Takes Root: A Simulation Study, (2016) CWPE1681
Cooley Fruehwirth, J., Iyer, S. and Zhang, A. Religion and Depression in Adolescence, (2016) CWPE1613

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. 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), forthcoming 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), forthcoming 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), forthcoming 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
Iyer, S. Religion and economic development, (2008), forthcoming in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition. Edited by S Durlauf, L Blume - Palgrave Macmillan

Edited Books

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

Recent Activities

The Marketplace of Faith - Publication Date: 2019-01-03
Dr. Sriya Iyer looks at "Why are Americans so religious?" in an article published in the Wall Street Journal. This follows on from the recent publication of her book "The Economics of Religion in India". Which was one of the Times Literary Supplement's 'Books of the Year 2018'.

The Economics of Religion in India Launch - Publication Date: 2018-11-13
Harvard University Press, the Faculty of Economics and the Cambridge-INET Institute held an event to celebrate the publication of Dr. Sriya Iyer's The Economics of Religion in India book. The event took place on 31st October 2018 in the Senior Combination Room, St Catharine’s College. See a selection of photographs from the evening.

The Economics of Religion in India - Publication Date: 2018-10-12
Dr. Sriya Iyer was interviewed about her recently published book 'The Economics of Religion in India' by SheThePeople. The book was also featured in leading Indian business newspaper The Mint "Why Religion Steps In When the State Steps Back"

The Economics of Religion in India - Publication Date: 2018-09-18
Dr. Sriya Iyer's new book "The Economics of Religion in India", published by Harvard University Press, has much to teach us about India and other pluralistic societies the world over, and about the power of economics to illuminate some of societies’ deepest beliefs and dynamics.

The Economics of Religion in India - Publication Date: 2018-05-01
Dr. Sriya Iyer recently gave the Faculty Research Seminar based on the research in her 2018 Harvard University Press book, where she uses economic methods to study religion. Her talk was titled 'The Economics of Religion in India' and delivered on 23 April 2018.

Research Grants

Modernizing The Madrasa In India (ISAAC NEWTON TRUST)

Keynes Fund Sponsored Projects

How Important are Religious Organisations as Insurance? with Cavalcanti, T.V.D and Rauh, C. (JHOT)


PI Paper 4 - Lent - Political and Social Institutions
PIIB Paper 5 - Lent - The Economics of Religion

PhD Students


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

Dr Sriya Iyer

Affiliated Lecturer and Janeway Fellow in Economics

Cambridge-INET Affiliated Senior Research Fellow

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Personal Site:

Contact Details
Room: 57
Office Hours: Email for appointment
College: Fellow of St. Catharine's College