The present paper studies causes of the social and economic marginalisation, in particular, the role of social mobility barriers for Roma. We have identified two types of social mobility barriers for Roma: the cost of exit from the traditional Roma community and the cost of entry into the mainstream society. The existing policy and academic debate on the social mobility of Roma has been focused almost entirely on entry barriers, whereas exit barriers have been acknowledged and studied to a much lesser extent. In this study we advocate that from a policy perspective it is important to understand differences between the two types of social mobility barriers, as they have different causes and hence have to be addressed by different policy instruments. Further, it is important that both types of social mobility barriers are addressed simultaneously, as they interact and reinforce each other mutually. Third, addressing social mobility barriers of Roma requires a change of both formal and informal institutions. Therefore, policy measures have to be implemented and sustained over a long period of time in order to have a sustainable impact on the social and economic integration of Roma.
Roma informal institutions self-enforcing institution discrimination self-isolation social and economic marginalisation exit/entry barriers social mobility