Lakshmi Iyer

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Lakshmi Iyer is an economist in the Business, Government and the International Economy (BGIE) Unit at Harvard Business School. Her primary research fields are political economy and development economics, with a special emphasis on property rights and the distribution of political power within societies. Her research has examined many dimensions of the distribution of political power within emerging market countries, including the legacy of colonial rule, the division of authority between politicians and bureaucrats, the determinants of conflict and the consequences of female political representation. She has also studied historical and current property rights institutions in several emerging markets including India, Vietnam, China and the Philippines. Lakshmi Iyer teaches "Globalization and Public Policy" in the Program for Leadership Development executive education program, and "Institutions, Macroeconomics and the Global Economy (IMaGE)" in the second year MBA curriculum. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Journal Articles

  1. Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India

    Sonia Bhalotra, Irma Clots-Figueras, Guilhem Cassan and Lakshmi Iyer

    This paper investigates whether the religious identity of state legislators in India influences development outcomes, both for citizens of their religious group and for the population as a whole. Using an instrumental variables approach derived from a regression discontinuity, we find that increasing the political representation of Muslims improves health and education outcomes in the district from which the legislator is elected. We find no evidence of religious favoritism: Muslim children do not benefit more from Muslim political representation than children from other religious groups.

    Keywords: religion; politician identity; infant mortality; primary education; india; Muslim; Fairness; Religion; Government and Politics; India;


    Bhalotra, Sonia, Irma Clots-Figueras, Guilhem Cassan, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 104 (August 2014): 4–17. View Details
  2. Caste and Entrepreneurship in India

    Lakshmi Iyer, Tarun Khanna and Ashutosh Varshney

    It is now widely accepted that the lower castes have risen in Indian politics. Has there been a corresponding change in the economy? Using comprehensive data on enterprise ownership from the Economic Censuses of 1990, 1998, and 2005, we document substantial caste differences in entrepreneurship across India. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are significantly under-represented in the ownership of enterprises and the share of the workforce employed by them. These differences are widespread across all states, have decreased very modestly between 1990 and 2005, and cannot be attributed to broad differences in access to physical or human capital.

    Keywords: Equality and Inequality; Income Characteristics; Entrepreneurship; Rank and Position; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, Tarun Khanna, and Ashutosh Varshney. "Caste and Entrepreneurship in India." Economic & Political Weekly 48, no. 6 (February 9, 2013): 52–60. View Details
  3. The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India

    Lakshmi Iyer, Anandi Mani, Prachi Mishra and Petia Topalova

    Using state-level variation in the timing of political reforms, we find that an increase in female representation in local government induces a large and significant rise in documented crimes against women in India. Our evidence suggests that this increase is good news, driven primarily by greater reporting rather than greater incidence of such crimes. In contrast, we find no increase in crimes against men or gender-neutral crimes. We also examine the effectiveness of alternative forms of political representation: large-scale membership of women in local councils affects crime against them more than their presence in higher level leadership positions.

    Keywords: Leadership; Crime and Corruption; Rank and Position; Performance Effectiveness; Gender Characteristics; Government and Politics; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, Anandi Mani, Prachi Mishra, and Petia Topalova. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4, no. 4 (October, 2012): 165–193. View Details
  4. Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India

    Lakshmi Iyer and Anandi Mani

    We develop a framework to empirically examine how politicians with electoral pressures control bureaucrats with career concerns as well as the consequences for bureaucrats' career investments. Unique micro-level data on Indian bureaucrats support our key predictions. Politicians use frequent reassignments (transfers) across posts of varying importance to control bureaucrats. High-skilled bureaucrats face less frequent political transfers and lower variability in the importance of their posts. We find evidence of two alternative paths to career success: officers of higher initial ability are more likely to invest in skill, but caste affinity to the politician's party base also helps secure important positions.

    Keywords: Framework; Government and Politics; Investment; Competency and Skills; Personal Development and Career; Rank and Position; Forecasting and Prediction; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Anandi Mani. "Traveling Agents: Political Change and Bureaucratic Turnover in India." Review of Economics and Statistics 94, no. 3 (August 2012): 723–739. View Details
  5. Geography, Poverty and Conflict in Nepal

    Quy-Toan Do and Lakshmi Iyer

    This paper conducts an empirical analysis of the geographic, economic and social factors that contributed to the spread of civil war in Nepal over the period 1996-2006. This within-country analysis complements existing cross-country studies on the same subject. Using a detailed dataset to track civil war casualties across space and over time, several patterns are documented. Conflict-related deaths are significantly higher in poorer districts, and in geographical locations that favor insurgents, such as mountains and forests; a 10 percentage point increase in poverty is associated with 25-27 additional conflict-related deaths. This result is similar to that documented in cross-country studies. In addition, the relationship with poverty and geography is similar for deaths caused by the insurgents and deaths caused by the state. Furthermore, poorer districts are likely to be drawn into the insurgency earlier, consistent with the theory that a lower cost of recruiting rebels is an important factor in starting conflict. On the other hand, geographic factors are not significantly associated with such onset, suggesting that they instead contribute to the intensity of violence once conflict has started. Finally, in contrast with some cross-country analyses, ethnic and caste polarization, land inequality, and political participation are not significantly associated with violence.

    Keywords: Ethnicity Characteristics; War; Poverty; Geography; Conflict and Resolution; Government and Politics; Economics; Nepal;


    Do, Quy-Toan, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Geography, Poverty and Conflict in Nepal." Journal of Peace Research 47, no. 6 (2010). View Details
  6. History, Social Divisions and Public Goods in Rural India

    Abhijit Banerjee, Lakshmi Iyer and Rohini Somanathan

    Keywords: History; Goods and Commodities; Public Ownership; Society; India;


    Banerjee, Abhijit, Lakshmi Iyer, and Rohini Somanathan. "History, Social Divisions and Public Goods in Rural India." Journal of the European Economic Association 3, nos. 2-3 (April–May 2005): 639–647. View Details
  7. History, Institutions and Economic Performance: the Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India

    Abhijit Banerjee and Lakshmi Iyer

    Keywords: History; Property; Performance; India;


    Banerjee, Abhijit, and Lakshmi Iyer. "History, Institutions and Economic Performance: the Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India." American Economic Review 95, no. 4 (September 2005): 1190–1213. (

    Winner of Michael Wallerstein Award for Best Article For the best published article on political economy presented by American Political Science Association​

    .) View Details

Working Papers

  1. Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India

    Lakshmi Iyer and Petia Topalova

    Does poverty lead to crime? We shed light on this question using two independent and exogenous shocks to household income in rural India: the dramatic reduction in import tariffs in the early 1990s and rainfall variations. We find that trade shocks, previously shown to raise relative poverty, also increased the incidence of violent crimes and property crimes. The relationship between trade shocks and crime is similar to the observed relationship between rainfall shocks and crime. Our results thus identify a causal effect of poverty on crime. They also lend credence to a large literature on the effects of weather shocks on crime and conflict, which has usually assumed that the income channel is the most relevant one.

    Keywords: Rainfall; weather; crime; Trade Liberalization; india; Crime and Corruption; Poverty; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Petia Topalova. "Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-067, April 2014. (Revised August 2014.) View Details
  2. Redrawing the Lines: Did Political Incumbents Influence Electoral Redistricting in the World's Largest Democracy?

    Lakshmi Iyer and Maya Reddy

    In 2008, the boundaries of national and state electoral constituencies in India were redrawn for the first time in three decades. We use detailed demographic and electoral data to construct measures of the extent of redistricting in a given constituency. We find the redistricting process to be politically neutral for the most part, though a few politicians who were advisory members for the redistricting process were able to avoid unfavorable redistricting outcomes for their specific constituencies. Incumbents whose constituencies became reserved for members of specific communities are significantly less likely to run for re-election following redistricting.

    Keywords: Political Elections; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Maya Reddy. "Redrawing the Lines: Did Political Incumbents Influence Electoral Redistricting in the World's Largest Democracy?" Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-051, December 2013. View Details
  3. Economic Transition and Private-Sector Labor Demand: Evidence from Urban China

    Lakshmi Iyer, Xin Meng, Nancy Qian and Xiaoxue Zhao

    This paper studies the policy determinants of economic transition and estimates the demand for labor in the infant private sector in urban China. We show that a reform that untied access to housing in urban areas from working for the state sector accounts for more than a quarter of the overall increase in labor supply to the private sector during 1986-2005. Using the reform to instrument for private-sector labor supply, we find that private-sector labor demand is very elastic. We provide suggestive evidence that the reform equalized wages across sectors and reduced private-sector rents.

    Keywords: Economic Transition; Structural Change; Labor Mobility; Transition; Human Capital; Private Sector; China;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, Xin Meng, Nancy Qian, and Xiaoxue Zhao. "Economic Transition and Private-Sector Labor Demand: Evidence from Urban China." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-047, December 2013. View Details
  4. Path-Breakers? Women’s Electoral Success and Future Political Participation

    Sonia Bhalotra, Irma Clots-Figueras and Lakshmi Iyer

    This paper investigates whether the event of a woman winning office in a competitive election encourages women’s future participation in politics, using constituency level data for elections to India’s state assemblies and a regression discontinuity design. On average, we find that female incumbents are more likely than male incumbents to re-contest but that there is a decline in the entry of new women candidates. We find evidence of demand-side explanations for this decline: there are striking differences across states by indicators of entrenched gender prejudice, with more prejudiced states showing a significant decline in the share of new women candidates after a woman wins, predominantly from parties led by men, and a significant decline in women’s winning chances. In contrast, in the less prejudiced states, there is no decline in new women candidates, and a significant increase in the vote share and winning chances of women. The evidence is consistent with backlash driven by voter and party preferences in the more gender prejudiced states. We find similar evidence of backlash following (mostly male) Muslim candidates winning, and argue that this bolsters the evidence of institutionalized demand-side barriers to entry and undermines supply-side gender-specific preferences and constraints. In addition, we find no significant differences in the candidacy response after a major quota-led expansion in the share of women in lower tiers of government, which makes it unlikely that the results are explained by a shortage of suitable women.

    Keywords: Prejudice and Bias; Political Elections; Gender Characteristics; Public Administration Industry; India;


    Bhalotra, Sonia, Irma Clots-Figueras, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Path-Breakers? Women’s Electoral Success and Future Political Participation." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-035, November 2013. (Revised March 2015.) View Details
  5. The Cost of Property Rights: Establishing Institutions on the Philippine Frontier Under American Rule, 1898-1918

    Lakshmi Iyer and Noel Maurer

    We examine three reforms to property rights introduced by the United States in the Philippines in the early 20th century: the redistribution of large estates to their tenants, the creation of a system of secure land titles, and a homestead program to encourage cultivation of public lands. During the first phase of American occupation (1898-1918), we find that the implementation of these reforms was very slow. As a consequence, tenure insecurity increased over this period, and the distribution of farm sizes remained extremely unequal. We identify two primary causes for the slow progress of reform. The first was the high cost of implementing these programs, together with political constraints which prevented the government from subsidizing land reforms to a greater degree. The second was the reluctance of the government to evict delinquent or informal cultivators, especially on public lands, which reduced the costs of tenure insecurity.

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Rights; Property; Business and Government Relations; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Philippines;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Noel Maurer. "The Cost of Property Rights: Establishing Institutions on the Philippine Frontier Under American Rule, 1898-1918." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-023, August 2008. (Revised April 2009.) View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Mental Health in the Aftermath of Conflict

    Quy-Toan Do and Lakshmi Iyer

    We survey the recent literature on the mental health effects of conflict. We highlight the methodological challenges faced in this literature, which include the lack of validated mental health scales in a survey context, the difficulties in measuring individual exposure to conflict, and the issues related to making causal inferences from observed correlations. We illustrate how some of these issues can be overcome in a study of mental health in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mental health is measured using a clinically validated scale; conflict exposure is proxied by administrative data on war casualties instead of being self-reported. We find that there are no significant differences in overall mental health across areas that are affected by ethnic conflict to a greater or lesser degree.

    Keywords: Conflict of Interests; Measurement and Metrics; Surveys; Data and Data Sets; Ethnicity Characteristics; War; Health Disorders; Body of Literature; Problems and Challenges; Bosnia and Hercegovina;


    Do, Quy-Toan, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Mental Health in the Aftermath of Conflict." In Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict, edited by Michelle Garfinkel and Stergios Skaperdas. Oxford University Press, 2012. View Details
  2. Is Decentralization Helping the Lagging Regions?

    Lakshmi Iyer, Ejaz Ghani and Saurabh Mishra

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Local Range; Welfare or Wellbeing; Developing Countries and Economies;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, Ejaz Ghani, and Saurabh Mishra. "Is Decentralization Helping the Lagging Regions?" In The Poor Half Billion in South Asia, edited by Ejaz Ghani. Oxford University Press, 2010. (Non-technical summary: VoxEU .) View Details
  3. Public Action for Public Goods: Theory and Evidence

    Abhijit Banerjee, Lakshmi Iyer and Rohini Somanathan

    This chapter focuses on the relationship between public action and access to public goods. It begins by developing a simple model of collective action which is intended to capture the various mechanisms that are discussed in the theoretical literature on collective action. We argue that several of these intuitive theoretical arguments rely on special additional assumptions that are often not made clear. We then review the empirical work based on the predictions of these models of collective action. While the available evidence is generally consistent with these theories, there is a dearth of quality evidence. Moreover, a large part of the variation in access to public goods seems to have nothing to do with the “bottom-up” forces highlighted in these models and instead reflects more “top-down” interventions. We conclude with a discussion of some of the historical evidence on top-down interventions.

    Keywords: Policy; Quality; Groups and Teams; Human Needs; Poverty; Welfare or Wellbeing; Public Administration Industry;


    Banerjee, Abhijit, Lakshmi Iyer, and Rohini Somanathan. "Public Action for Public Goods: Theory and Evidence." In Handbook of Development Economics. Vol. 4, edited by T. Paul Schultz and John Strauss. Elsevier Science, 2008. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. The United Kingdom and the Means to Prosperity

    Laura Alfaro, Lakshmi Iyer and Hilary White

    After struggling through the country's longest recession since 2008, the U.K. was expected to grow faster than any other G7 nation in 2014. Analysts wondered whether the return to growth was because, or in spite of, Prime Minister David Cameron's controversial £113 billion austerity plan introduced in 2010. Despite the positive upturn in the economy, U.K. policymakers still faced challenges with rapidly rising income inequality, an economy dominated by the financial sector, a possible housing bubble, and an approaching referendum on Scotland's independence. Moreover, many claimed the U.K. was at risk of secular stagnation, a slowdown in economic growth caused by a structural deficiency in demand. What could the government do to put the country on a sustained and balanced growth trajectory?

    Keywords: United Kingdom; Keynesian multiplier; macroeconomics; inflation; inflation targeting; government spending; government intervention in the markets; monetary policy; financial crisis; financial crisis management; austerity; inequality; public finance; government finance; Macroeconomics; Economics; Government and Politics; Inflation and Deflation; Financial Crisis; Economic Slowdown and Stagnation; Economic Growth; Business Cycles; Welfare or Wellbeing; United Kingdom;


    Alfaro, Laura, Lakshmi Iyer, and Hilary White. "The United Kingdom and the Means to Prosperity." Harvard Business School Case 715-008, September 2014. (Revised January 2015.) View Details
  2. Land Acquisition in India: Public Purpose and Private Property (C)

    Laura Alfaro, Lakshmi Iyer and Rachna Tahilyani

    Keywords: india; special economic zones; land markets; land politics; industrial development; land reform; developing markets; developing countries; industrialization; Industrial property; Economic Growth; Developing Countries and Economies; Economics; Economy; Macroeconomics; Social Issues; India; Asia; South Asia;


    Alfaro, Laura, Lakshmi Iyer, and Rachna Tahilyani. "Land Acquisition in India: Public Purpose and Private Property (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 714-023, December 2013. View Details
  3. Indonesia's OJK: Building Financial Stability

    Lakshmi Iyer and David Lane

    In 2013, a new financial services authority, the Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), took over responsibility for regulating capital markets and non-bank financial institutions in Indonesia. OJK was scheduled to take over bank regulation and supervision from the central bank, Bank Indonesia, in 2014. At a time when there was no global consensus on the optimality of separating monetary policy from bank supervision, the creation of the OJK raised many questions. Would the OJK better prepare Indonesia to deal with financial crises? Could an organization whose leaders came from Indonesia's existing economic bureaucracies remain independent of those organizations and from political pressures? Was the creation of the OJK the correct response to public dissatisfaction with Bank Indonesia's handling of the Asian financial crisis and subsequent corruption scandals?

    Keywords: monetary policy; bank regulation; financial market regulation; corruption; bureaucracy; central bank independence; emerging markets; Indonesia; Crime and Corruption; Central Banking; Emerging Markets; Financial Markets; Corporate Governance; Financial Strategy; Financial Services Industry; Indonesia;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and David Lane. "Indonesia's OJK: Building Financial Stability." Harvard Business School Case 713-003, March 2013. (Revised August 2014.) View Details
  4. The World Bank in 2012: Choosing a Leader

    Lakshmi Iyer and Ian McKown Cornell

    In 2012, the World Bank faced important questions in terms of its future strategy and mission. Should the Bank continue to focus on micro-level development initiatives, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), or return to traditional macro-level financial support? Was the Bank's role as a source of funds for developing countries still relevant? Should emerging market nations be given a greater role in the governance structure? Most importantly, was Jim Yong Kim, a US national, the right choice to lead the Bank, in preference to highly qualified candidates from developing nations?

    Keywords: economic development; Millennium Development Goals; World Bank; international institutions; leadership; foreign direct investment; Leadership; Development Economics; Emerging Markets; Foreign Direct Investment; Financial Services Industry; Public Administration Industry;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Ian McKown Cornell. "The World Bank in 2012: Choosing a Leader." Harvard Business School Case 713-013, November 2012. View Details
  5. Urbanizing China

    Lakshmi Iyer and G.A. Donovan

    In 2012, China attained a historic development milestone with more Chinese citizens living in cities than in the countryside. China's rapid urbanization, and the accompanying conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses, raised a number of economic, social, and political concerns. Could China maintain its food security in view of the sharply rising demand for land for urban development? How could it ensure the sustainability of local government finances? Was the growing number of land protests the harbinger of major changes in China's political institutions? How would the challenges of urbanization affect the business environment for private firms? The success and viability of China's overall growth strategy depended crucially on managing a successful urban transition.

    Keywords: China; urbanization; industrialization; property rights; local government finance; social protest; business environment; food security; Safety; Change Management; Food; Urban Development; Social Issues; Growth and Development Strategy; Public Administration Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; China;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and G.A. Donovan. "Urbanizing China." Harvard Business School Case 713-037, October 2012. (Revised December 2013.) View Details
  6. India 2014: The Challenges of Governance

    Lakshmi Iyer and Richard H. K. Vietor

    In January 2012, the government of India faced significant challenges to achieving three key objectives of high growth, inclusive development, and improved governance. The economy was experiencing a growth slowdown, persistently high inflation, and infrastructure and energy deficits. Policy reforms were hampered by several recent corruption scandals, widespread citizen protests against corruption, and disagreements with coalition partners. Could India make the right decisions needed to lift hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty?

    Keywords: Governance; Government and Politics; Problems and Challenges; Economic Growth; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Richard H. K. Vietor. "India 2014: The Challenges of Governance." Harvard Business School Case 712-038, January 2012. (Revised April 2015.) View Details
  7. Europe: Data Supplement, 1950-2011

    Huw R. Pill, Lakshmi Iyer, Marie-Laure Goepfer and Ingrid Vogel

    Supplements The Blair Wealth Project: Antecedents and Prospects, Renewing Germany: Kohl's Legacy and Schroder's Dilemma, Italy: A New Commitment to Growth, and The Netherlands: Is the Polder Model Sinking?

    Keywords: Data and Data Sets; United Kingdom; Germany; Italy; Netherlands;


    Pill, Huw R., Lakshmi Iyer, Marie-Laure Goepfer, and Ingrid Vogel. "Europe: Data Supplement, 1950-2011." Harvard Business School Background Note 703-013, September 2002. (Revised February 2012.) View Details
  8. Dharavi: Developing Asia's Largest Slum (A)

    Lakshmi Iyer, John D. Macomber and Namrata Arora

    Maharashtra state is accepting bids to redevelop Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia. A real estate developer assesses the risks and tenders a bid. The bid conditions include providing new free housing to tens of thousands of slum dwellers, which is anticipated to be paid for from the revenues from developing and selling market-rate housing. While the primary concerns are cost of construction, cost of capital, and revenues from sale of units, the analysis must consider many aspects of risk including political risk, foreign exchange risk, market risk, and execution risk. Further, the discussion covers social aspects including whether the slum should be redeveloped at all, whether it should be redeveloped by government or by the private sector, and whether to accomplish it in large chunks or in smaller increments. Additional topics that can be covered include consideration of what happens to commercial activities formerly run from slum dwellings, whether the market-rate units will indeed sell for high prices if there are tens of thousands of former slum dwellers housed nearby, and whether the slum dwellers will be allowed to resell their units or whether they must remain in them. Other issues include timing of the project, guarantees to and from the government and the private parties to mitigate risk, and whether this model, if successful, can be extended to other slums in Asia.

    Keywords: Risk Management; Development Economics; Housing; Urban Development; Emerging Markets; Social Issues; Business and Government Relations; Real Estate Industry; Mumbai;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, John D. Macomber, and Namrata Arora. "Dharavi: Developing Asia's Largest Slum (A)." Harvard Business School Case 710-004, July 2009. (Revised June 2011.) View Details
  9. Dharavi: Developing Asia's Largest Slum (B)

    Lakshmi Iyer and John Macomber

    In July 2009, as investors prepared to submit financial bids for the $3 billion Dharavi slum redevelopment project, considerable economic and political risks remained.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Private Equity; Social Issues; Investment; Developing Countries and Economies; Business and Government Relations; Financial Services Industry; Real Estate Industry; Mumbai;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and John Macomber. "Dharavi: Developing Asia's Largest Slum (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 711-107, May 2011. View Details
  10. Hollywood in India: Protecting Intellectual Property (A) and (B) (TN)

    Lakshmi Iyer

    Teaching Note for 711017 and 711018.

    Keywords: Markets; Strategy; Intellectual Property; Crime and Corruption; Film Entertainment; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi. "Hollywood in India: Protecting Intellectual Property (A) and (B) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 711-076, March 2011. View Details
  11. Ben Bernanke: Person of the Year?

    Lakshmi Iyer and Matthew C. Weinzierl

    In response to the economic and financial crisis of 2008–2009, the Federal Reserve greatly expanded the scale and scope of its activities. Though lauded by many experts for its actions, the Fed and its chairman, Ben Bernanke, faced harsh criticism from some public commentators and members of Congress. This document summarizes that criticism and Chairman Bernanke's responses to it, highlighting the tension between congressional oversight of the Fed and the Fed's independence from political influence.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Central Banking; Governance Controls; Policy; Crisis Management; Power and Influence; Public Administration Industry; United States;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Matthew C. Weinzierl. "Ben Bernanke: Person of the Year?" Harvard Business School Case 710-051, January 2010. (Revised March 2011.) View Details
  12. Hollywood in India: Protecting Intellectual Property (A)

    Lakshmi Iyer and Namrata Arora

    In January 2010, Fox Star Studios is preparing to release the Bollywood film My Name is Khan in Indian and international markets. What strategies should the company adopt to protect their intellectual property? How much should the company invest in anti-piracy initiatives? Should releases be restricted only to more secure digital screens? Should the company be concerned about the frequent comparisons of the movie with Forrest Gump, in light of several recent cases of Hollywood studios suing Bollywood producers for plagiarism?

    Keywords: Crime and Corruption; Copyright; Lawsuits and Litigation; Emerging Markets; Business Strategy; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; India;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Namrata Arora. "Hollywood in India: Protecting Intellectual Property (A)." Harvard Business School Case 711-017, November 2010. (Revised February 2011.) View Details
  13. Punjab and Kerala: Regional Development in India

    Lakshmi Iyer

    Between 2000 and 2004, India's economy grew by 6.35%. Focuses on the states of Punjab and Kerala, which emphasized sharply different development strategies. The states had to decide whether to focus their investment efforts on physical capital or improving social indicators. Both states faced constraints in the form of budget deficits, competition from other states, and coordination with central government policies.

    Keywords: Development Economics; Capital; Investment; Policy; Growth and Development Strategy; Business and Government Relations; Social Issues; Kerala; Punjab;


    Iyer, Lakshmi. "Punjab and Kerala: Regional Development in India." Harvard Business School Case 707-008, February 2007. (Revised April 2009.) View Details
  14. Special Economic Zones in India: Public Purpose and Private Property (A)

    Laura Alfaro and Lakshmi Iyer

    In 2005, the government of India enacted the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act in order to attract investment, generate export revenues, and create manufacturing jobs. However, several planned projects faced difficulties in acquiring land for setting up the SEZ. In December 2007, the government introduced a new piece of legislation, which proposed to extend the power of eminent domain to allow the government to acquire land for SEZs. Was this the right response to the land acquisition problems of private firms? Was the SEZ strategy the right one for India's economic growth?

    Keywords: Acquisition; Development Economics; Economic Growth; Policy; Government Legislation; Property; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; India;


    Alfaro, Laura, and Lakshmi Iyer. "Special Economic Zones in India: Public Purpose and Private Property (A)." Harvard Business School Case 709-027, December 2008. (Revised October 2012.) View Details
  15. Tata Motors in Singur: Public Purpose and Private Property (B)

    Laura Alfaro, Lakshmi Iyer and Namrata Arora

    In October 2008, Tata Motors canceled their car manufacturing plant in West Bengal state, in the face of widespread farmer protests over land acquisition issues. This meant abandoning a project in which the company had invested $300 million and delaying the launch of the Nano, the world's cheapest car. What strategy could Tata have pursued to avoid this outcome? Would similar problems arise in Gujarat state, where the project had been relocated?

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Rights; Emerging Markets; Property; Business and Government Relations; Conflict and Resolution; Auto Industry; Manufacturing Industry; West Bengal;


    Alfaro, Laura, Lakshmi Iyer, and Namrata Arora. "Tata Motors in Singur: Public Purpose and Private Property (B)." Harvard Business School Case 709-029, February 2009. (Revised October 2012.) View Details
  16. What Should the Federal Reserve Do? Thoughts of Greenspan and Bernanke

    Lakshmi Iyer and Noel Maurer

    Presents remarks by Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke on monetary policy, explicit inflation targets, and the relative merits of asset price targeting.

    Keywords: Inflation and Deflation; Asset Pricing; Central Banking; Financial Strategy; Policy; Banking Industry;


    Iyer, Lakshmi, and Noel Maurer. "What Should the Federal Reserve Do? Thoughts of Greenspan and Bernanke." Harvard Business School Case 706-017, December 2005. (Revised July 2006.) View Details
  17. To Trade or Not to Trade: NAFTA and the Prospects for Free Trade in the Americas

    Lakshmi Iyer

    Discusses the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the United States, Canada, and Mexico, a decade after it came into force in 1994. Keeping in mind NAFTA's effect on jobs, exports, productivity, and economic growth, policy makers had to decide whether to go ahead with the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas being negotiated by 34 countries in the Western hemisphere.

    Keywords: History; Agreements and Arrangements; Performance Productivity; Jobs and Positions; Economic Growth; Trade; Foreign Direct Investment; North and Central America;


    Iyer, Lakshmi. "To Trade or Not to Trade: NAFTA and the Prospects for Free Trade in the Americas." Harvard Business School Case 705-034, March 2005. (Revised November 2005.) View Details