IZA World of Labor article by Martin Kahanec: Roma integration in European labor markets
Published on June 17, 2014 in Research and policy reports
The Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Europe—as well as one of the most disadvantaged. A triple vicious circle is at play: Substandard socio-economic outcomes reinforce each other; they fuel negative attitudes and perceptions, leading to ill-chosen policies; and segmentation is perpetuated through (statistical) discrimination.
The segmentation of Europe’s labor markets along Roma and non-Roma ethnic lines results in poverty, social exclusion, and lower labor market status for the Roma. This in turn undermines the economic potential of some of Europe’s poorest regions, where the Roma are concentrated.
Educational inequality is a key factor behind labor market gaps between Roma and non-Roma populations. Thus, an important policy objective is to prevent the residential and social segregation that engenders educational and other inequalities. Intergenerational transfers of human capital imply that comprehensive policies need to address the poverty and educational disadvantages not only of children but also their parents.
Narrowing, or even eliminating, human capital gaps is not sufficient, however. Equal treatment in the labor market needs to be ensured and this will involve nurturing trust between Roma and non-Roma populations.
Several initiatives demonstrate that this is possible. Good practices have to be identified with robust evidence and brought up to the scale and scope commensurate with the challenges.
Read the full report here: http://wol.iza.org/…arkets-1.pdf