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Conference Papers Year : 2020

Are Ride-Sharing Platforms Good for Indian Drivers? An Investigation of Taxi and Auto-Rickshaw Drivers in Delhi

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Abstract

It has been several years since ride-sharing platforms such as Ola and Uber have entered the Indian market. As a type of matching service, mainstream economic theory predicts that they will bring economic efficiencies to hired transportation. In this study, we investigate the impact of ride-sharing on drivers of taxi cabs and auto-rickshaws in New Delhi through a mixed-methods study involving 60 drivers. We find mixed outcomes for drivers with little clear evidence of overall benefit. We saw no statistically significant impact of ride-sharing on drivers’ average revenue per day, though the data is suggestive of income gains of 7–18% which seem likely to be due to longer hours driven. In contrast to the corporate marketing where driver autonomy and flexibility are oft-cited perks, our participants tended to report less autonomy and control with ride-sharing. And, we find evidence that drivers face greater uncertainty with respect to their income as ride-sharing companies offer intermittent promotional incentives. Our findings are consistent with technological amplification theory. Through ride-sharing platforms, unequal power dynamics between large corporations and low-wage workers are amplified: ride-sharing companies wrest control from drivers while providing little in return.
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Dates and versions

hal-03450697 , version 1 (26-11-2021)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Anna Fleitoukh, Kentaro Toyama. Are Ride-Sharing Platforms Good for Indian Drivers? An Investigation of Taxi and Auto-Rickshaw Drivers in Delhi. IFIP Joint Working Conference on the Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality (IFIPJWC), Dec 2020, Hyderabad, India. pp.117-131, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-64697-4_10⟩. ⟨hal-03450697⟩
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