The plight of migrants leaving the cities has been visible on streets all over India. Now, a new study has looked what is happening to poor, non-migrant urban workers.
The study, a working paper by researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of British Columbia, covered 1,392 individuals in Delhi, in slums and unauthorised colonies, and found 9 out of 10 people reporting that their weekly incomes had fallen to zero.
The study, conducted over seven weeks of the lockdown, found that intra-city movement, mapped using Facebook
mobility data, dropped by 80%, immediately after the first lockdown was announced on March 24. It arrived at three broad conclusions. First, the lockdown resulted in significant economic costs, with income falling by 57% and days worked falling 73%. Second, the lockdown resulted in “widespread compliance with public health directives: mask usage rose by 73 percentage points (pp); time spent indoors increased by 51 pp; smoking decreased by 13 pp; and hand-washing rose by 10 pp.” Third, the economic impacts of the lockdown were somewhat mitigated by government food assistance, but about 64% of the sample could not access these….