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Faculty of Economics

Sriya Iyer

“ Learning, teaching and researching economics inspires me to explore economic development and diversity in societies. "

Sriya Iyer is a University Reader in the Faculty of Economics and a Fellow of St Catharine’s College. She read for a BA (Hons) in Economics in Delhi University and then a BA, MA, MPhil and PhD in Economics at the University of Cambridge. Her research is in the fields of development economics, economics of religion, health and education. Her research spans many countries including India, Kenya, Bangladesh, Brazil, UK and USA. For the past decade Sriya has been contributing to developing a new field of research called the economics of religion, in which she uses economic methods to study religion. She has published three books on Demography and Religion in India (Oxford University Press 2002), The Economics of Religion in India (Harvard University Press 2018) and Advances in the Economics of Religion (Palgrave Macmillan 2019); as well as articles in leading journals including the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Literature, Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Development Economics. Her recent book on India was a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year 2018. Sriya is a Research Fellow of the Institute of Labour Economics (IZA), was on the Board of Directors of ASREC, and on the India Advisory Board of the Pew Research Centre. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Comparative Economics, the Journal of Religion and Demography, and the Journal of Economics, Religion and Management. She was Deputy Chair of the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2020; Programme Chair for two ASREC Annual Meetings 2013 and 2014 in the USA; and she organised an International Economic Association Roundtable on The Economics of Religion in Cambridge in 2017. In 2014, Sriya was awarded a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence.

Why economics?

“Growing up in the USA and India made me aware of differences in economic development across countries, and the diversity of people from different cultural and economic backgrounds. I was conscious of inequalities in societies and committed to thinking about how to address them. I started studying Economics in school, and continue to be entranced by its elegance, rigour and history. Learning, teaching and researching Economics has made me want to promote Alfred Marshall’s vision for this subject - To increase the number of those, whom Cambridge sends out into the world with cool heads but warm hearts, to discover how far it is possible to open up to all the material means of a refined and noble life.”

 

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