||This dissertation thesis consists of three essays that address the topic of poverty and the socio-economic behaviour of the poor. In the first essay, we focus on an economic dimension of subjective well-being, studying how closely subjective perceptions of individual economic well-being are related to objective measures of real economic conditions as they change over time. Our results suggest that people react to general economic conditions to a limited extent, and do not immediately update their perceptions according to real conditions. The following two essays primarily focus on the socio-economic behaviour of poor Roma. In the second essay, we first aim to understand the role of parents and peers in the shaping of social norms adopted by children in relatively closed, poor mono-ethnic Roma communities. We show that, on average, children’s norms are more correlated with those of their peers than with those of their parents. We also show that children’s norms converge to their parents’ norms until the age of around twelve–thirteen, which is when many Roma children begin to acquire adult-like rights and obligations. In the third essay, we address the phenomenon of stereotype threat in the context of Slovak Roma. The results suggest that role models can influence social identity, improve confidence, and inspire young people to work harder to achieve goals.