Abstract In the current study, we analyse the effect of having a Roma background on women's wages. By utilizing data from sixteen multiethnic municipalities in which Roma live, we estimate that 66.2 per cent of the wage differential between Roma and non-Roma female workers cannot be explained by differences in observed characteristics. Prejudices against Roma women are discussed and appear to explain the wage gap found here. The occupational segregation of the Roma in low-paid jobs and employers' statistical motivations are also found to influence wages earned by Roma. This study concludes that there is a need for better implementation of existing laws, rules and regulations, which would counter the discrimination against minority women in the labour market. In addition, a better means of assessing workers' skills might contribute to the reduction of wage discrimination, and greater educational achievement would significantly boost the economic status of Roma women.
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