October 2013

IZA DP No. 7667: Ethnicity and Gender in the Labour Market in Central and South East Europe

Published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics 2015, 39 (2), 631-654

The Roma are both the largest 'minority' ethnic group in Central and South Eastern Europe and the one which suffered most from transition to the market. Still today, nearly forty years after the introduction of the EU's 1975 Discrimination Directive and with the end of the 'Roma Decade' (2005-15) in sight, people from the Roma minority have unemployment rates far above – and employment rates and wages far below – those of majority populations. One issue which has received relatively attention concerns the 'double' discrimination facing Roma women. Not only do Roma women face poorer employment and wage outcomes in the labour market than non-Roma women, in most CSEE countries the gender wage gap is significantly larger amongst Roma compared to non-Roma. This paper seeks to analyze and explain differences in the gender gap in the wages amongst Roma. The paper employs a non-parametric matching approach to identify the main factors underlying the gender wage gap. Educational attainment plays a relatively small role, explaining only around one-fifth of the gap. Industrial and occupational segregation appear to be playing a strong role as does the civil status of individuals, household socioeconomic status and whether individuals living in a predominantly Roma community.