ISB hosts an India-focused economic research workshop

By Soumik Dey Aug 03, 2022

ISB hosts The Society for Economics Research in India (SERI)’s 2022 workshop, aimed at fostering research collaborations between India-based economists

The Society for Economic Research in India held its eighth annual SERI workshop at the Indian School of Business on July 23-24. The workshop organised at ISB’s Hyderabad campus was attended by 40 participants from 28 educational and research institutions in India, Asia, Europe and the US.

The Society for Economics Research in India (SERI) is an association of economics researchers based in India. It aims to promote research collaboration, intellectual exchange, and critique among economists in India.

The workshop saw paper presentations by faculty members from IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science, Ahmedabad University, Ashoka University, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, The Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL) of the RBI, and the Indian School of Business among others.  

The topics of the papers presented at the workshop ranged from the performance of micro-enterprises in India, the impact of opening bank branches, benefits of soft information communication and organisational performance, irrigation, and spatial pattern of local economic development in India, and research concerning household income, demand shocks and savings in India and many technical aspects of research methodologies were discussed here by the scholars.

“Conferences such as this can foster collaboration between researchers at different academic institutions in India, deepening the local research ecosystem,” said Shilpa Aggarwal, Assistant Professor in Economics and Public Policy at ISB and a member of SERI. 

Incidentally, the first SERI conference was hosted at the Hyderabad campus in 2015. 

“It was wonderful to have made a `full circle among other hosts and come back to ISB this year,” said Professor Dilip Mookherjee, Professor and Director, The Institute for Economic Development at Boston University and a leading expert on India-focused economics research done globally. “SERI as a network (of researchers) has grown and matured over the years and owes much to ISB for its support and hospitality.”  

He said the workshop was a welcome break after three years. “It was the first in-person event in three years. So, listening to in-person paper presentations and live interactive discussions was particularly invigorating. And to have the opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones over meals, tea-time and in the corridors,” shared Professor Mookerjee.

Professor Shekhar Tomar, Assistant Professor, Economics and Public Policy at ISB, said that the academic significance of the conference has expanded over the years.

"The network of economics researchers and faculty focused on India has grown substantially, and many more academicians have come back to work in India. It is great to see that economic research opportunities for India-centric work have grown manifold since the first SERI Workshop," said Professor Tomar.

“We had an engaging and participative discussion at the workshop. It was an effective one to ensure richer future economic research from India,” said Professor Aaditya Dar, Assistant Professor, Economics and Public Policy, who was also part of this year’s organising committee member for the SERI Workshop.

The participants experienced a verdant Hyderabad campus and ISB’s warm hospitality during the two-day workshop. One campus resident, a peacock, perched atop a peacock crossing sign on the ISB entrance road, became one of the most shared pictures on social media from the SERI Workshop of 2022.