Publications of Kertesi, G.
Roma employment in Hungary after the post-communist transition
We analyze the extent and some causes of the low formal employment rate of the Roma in Hungary, using the most reliable survey data. Roma employment dropped dramatically in the first years of the post-communist transition, widened further a little afterwards, and it stayed largely unaffected by macroeconomic conditions after the transition. The absolute employment gap is roughly the same for men and women, more than third of the gap is explained by lower education of the Roma, and geographic location, while different from non-Romanies, explains little once education is controlled for. We also show indirect evidence for labor market discrimination.
Children of the post-communist transition: Age at the time of the parents' job loss and dropping out of secondary school
Using data on children whose parents lost their jobs during the post-communist transition of Hungary, we address the causal effect of unexpected long-term unemployment of parents on their children's educational achievement. We estimate the effect of the children's age at the time of their parents' job loss on their probability of dropping out of secondary school (an event that follows the parents' job loss by many years). The treatment is an additional year reared in a family with regularly employed parents, which can be interpreted as additional human capital investment. We provide bounding estimates to the causal effect. The estimated bounds are tight, they show a substantial effect, and the effect is significantly stronger for preschool age children than for older ones.
Roma children in the transformational recession – Widening ethnic schooling gap and Roma poverty in post-communist Hungary
The Roma or “Gypsies” are Europe’s largest and poorest ethnic minority. Nearly 80 per cent of them live in the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The Roma – Non-Roma educational gap, always substantial but slowly closing in the communist years, widened again after the collapse of the communist system in Hungary. Using Hungarian Roma data from the mid-1990’s and a comparable national sample, we estimate multinomial probability models for dropping out after primary school (8th grade), continuing in vocational training school, or continuing in a secondary school with a maturity examination (necessary for college entrance). Our results indicate that long-term poverty of the Roma is strongly associated with their high drop-out rate after 8th grade. Roma poverty has increased considerably with the massive layoffs of unskilled workers since the mid-1980’s. We find that the younger a child is when his/her father is laid off the more likely he/she is to discontinue schooling after 8th grade. We conclude that the collapse of Roma employment has been in part responsible for the widening ethnic gap in education. Equal opportunities for the next Roma generation are therefore jeopardized unless policy helps overcoming the adverse effects of long-term poverty on schooling outcomes.