IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Education and Employment Opportunities for the Roma


  • Niall O'Higgins

    () (CELPE & CSEF, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Statistiche (DiSES), Università degli Studi di Salerno, Salerno, Italy.)

  • Andrey Ivanov

    () (United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Centre, Europe and the CIS, Bratislava, Slovakia.)


The Roma more than anyone else lost out in the transition to the market economy in the countries of Central and South Eastern Europe. Their unemployment rate is 100 per cent in some rural areas and the Roma's dependence on government benefits is widespread. This article takes a look at unemployment and employment among the Roma on the basis of two surveys completed in 2002 and 2004. It is shown that lack of formal education cannot provide a full explanation of the relatively high unemployment rates faced by Roma and that at least part of the problem arises from discrimination in employment. Roma are also disproportionately employed in low-quality jobs in the informal sector. The paper argues that programmes aimed at combatting labour market and income disadvantages of the Roma must be based on the development of opportunities for autonomous income generation rather than the public works temporary employment programmes currently prevalent. Comparative Economic Studies (2006) 48, 6–19. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ces.8100147

Suggested Citation

  • Niall O'Higgins & Andrey Ivanov, 2006. "Education and Employment Opportunities for the Roma," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 6-19, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:48:y:2006:i:1:p:6-19

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gábor Kertesi & Gábor Kézdi, 2011. "Roma employment in Hungary after the post‐communist transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(3), pages 563-610, July.
    2. Christopher RAUH, 2018. "Decomposing Gaps between Roma and Non-Roma in Romania," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 209-229, June.
    3. Lucia Mýtna Kureková, 2015. "Policy Puzzles with Roma Employment in Slovakia," Discussion Papers 34, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    4. Ciaian, Pavel & Kancs, D’artis, 2018. "Social Mobility Barriers for Roma: Discrimination and Informal Institutions," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 670-685, October.
    5. Pavel Ciaian & d'Artis Kancs, 2016. "Causes of the Social and Economic Marginalisation: The Role of Social Mobility Barriers for Roma," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2016/03, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    6. Niall O’Higgins, 2010. "Youth Labour Markets in Europe and Central Asia," Working Papers id:2740, eSocialSciences.
    7. Claudia Trentini, 2014. "Ethnic patterns of returns to education in Bulgaria," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 22(1), pages 105-137, January.
    8. Mary Christianakis, 2015. "Victimization and Vilification of Romani Children in Media and Human Rights Organizations Discourses," Social Inclusion, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(5), pages 48-63.
    9. Martin Kahanec, 2014. "Roma integration in European labor markets," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 1-39, May.
    10. Susanne Milcher, 2006. "Poverty and the Determinants of Welfare for Roma and Other Vulnerable Groups in Southeastern Europe," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 20-35, March.
    11. Pavel Ciaian & Andrej Cupák & Ján Pokrivčák & Marian Rizov, 2018. "Food consumption and diet quality choices of Roma in Romania: a counterfactual analysis," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(2), pages 437-456, April.
    12. Nooraddin Sharify, 2016. "Investigation for an Approach to Optimise the Structure of Human Force," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 20(3), pages 306-325, Summer.
    13. Jaromir Cekota & Claudia Trentini, 2011. "The educational attainment, labour market participation and living conditions of young Roma in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania," ECE Discussion Papers Series 2011_2, UNECE.
    14. Tudorel ANDREI & Andreea MIRICĂ & Daniel TEODORESCU & Elena-Doina DASCĂLU, 2016. "Main Determinants of Labor Force Participation in the case of Metropolitan Roma People," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 144-163, September.
    15. Kalman Mizsei, 2006. "Development Opportunities for the Roma in Central and Southeast Europe – Impediments and Challenges," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(1), pages 1-5, March.
    16. Kahanec, Martin & Yuksel, Mutlu, 2010. "Intergenerational Transfer of Human Capital under Post-War Distress: The Displaced and the Roma in the Former Yugoslavia," IZA Discussion Papers 5108, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:48:y:2006:i:1:p:6-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.