HOME » Publications » Economic Review


Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 62-75 (2013)

“The Cycle Rickshaw Sector in Delhi —An Analysis of the Informal Sector and Rural-Urban Migration—”
Takashi Kurosaki (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

This paper examines the cycle rickshaw sector in Delhi, India, using a unique dataset of 1,320 rickshaw pullers that represent the whole area of Delhi. The descriptive analysis reveals the followings. The majority of rickshaw pullers are poorly-educated, short-term migrants. Informal network plays an important role in facilitating migration and determining the rickshaw-pulling income. The average income level of rickshaw pullers is substantially above the government poverty line, leaving them a net surplus for remittance. The impact of human capital on income is non-linear, with a positive effect only at the very low level of education and experience. These findings suggest that accumulating more human capital and shifting to occupations that reward such human capital are required to move out of poverty in the long-run. The urban informal sector exemplified by cycle rickshaw pulling can bring earnings in the short-run, which enables migrants to move towards this long-run strategy.