This paper examines the effect of gender roles on earnings differentials between Han Chinese and Uyghurs in Ürümchi, China, using survey data (N = 1,600) from Ürümchi in 2005. It finds sizeable earnings differentials between Han Chinese and Uyghurs. However, the differences in income between Uyghur men and Han men fade away when socioeconomic variables are controlled for. No similar patterns are found among women. Earnings differentials between Uyghur women and Han women and between Uyghurs and Han Chinese disappear after the measures for family responsibilities are introduced into the earnings equation. The differences in socioeconomic status and family responsibilities between Uyghur women and Han women underlie the aggregate income inequality between Uyghurs and Han Chinese. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.