Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/232754
Authors: 
Stark, Oded
Berlinschi, Ruxanda
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 14002
Abstract: 
Parents who experience poverty and who want to provide their children with an escape route can be expected to encourage and support their progeny's education. The evidence that Roma parents behave differently is unsettling. In this paper we test empirically an explanation for that behavior. The explanation is based on a theory (Stark et al. 2018) that can be "borrowed" to rationalize the enforcement of norms of little formal education in underprivileged communities. An analysis of survey data collected in Roma communities in four Central and Eastern European countries lends support to the explanation. The analysis reveals a strong negative correlation between the influence of the Roma community on an individual member's life and the importance accorded by the individual to formal schooling for children. The correlation is robust to controlling for standard determinants of attitudes towards schooling, such as poverty, unemployment, labor market discrimination, and parents' educational attainment. The analysis suggests that policy interventions aiming to increase the formal education of Roma children need to reckon with the influence of Roma community norms on individual choices.
Subjects: 
community influence
social norms
social distance
exposure to relative deprivation
Roma communities
formal education of children
JEL: 
J15
J24
J70
O12
Z13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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