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Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prizes 2012

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Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prizes 2012

Prize committee

  • Janet Gornick (City University New York)
  • Jürgen Schupp (DIW Berlin)
  • C. Katharina Spieß (DIW Berlin)
  • Nicolas R. Ziebarth (Cornell University)


Honored papers

For the first time this year, Joachim R. Frick Memorial Prizes were awarded for the best papers presented at the conference. The Conference Program Committee selected the following from the over 60 papers presented, based also on the recommendations of the session chairs (listed in alphabetical order). 

Arne Brekenfeld, Deputy Chairman of the Society of Friends of the DIW Berlin (VdF) intodruced the honoured papers and handed over the prizes
Photo: Stephan Röhl

Anja Oppermann, GK SOCLIFE, University of Cologne: "A New Color in the Picture - The Impact of Educational Fields on Fertility in Western Germany"

Committee comments: The paper by Anja Oppermann makes an original contribution to the extensive literature on educational attainment and fertility behavior. She used a sophisticated measure of education considering not only the level of educational attainment but also the field of education, a variable that has recently been included in the SOEP data release. She grouped educational fields according to the share of women in them and studied how long after graduation the first child is born. The results show that the field of education matters for women but not for men. The paper makes a valuable contribution to family and educational sociology, was presented clearly and effectively, and shows a good fit between theory and empirical modeling.

Arne Brekenfeld und Karin Sommerfeld
Photo: Stephan Röhl

Katrin Sommerfeld, University of Freiburg: "Higher and Higher? Performance Pay and Wage Inequality in Germany"

Committee comments: Katrin Sommerfeld's paper deals with the dramatically rising wage inequality in Germany over the last 20 years. The specific question addressed is whether the increased use of variable pay schemes is related to the increasing wage dispersion. Her key finding is that performance pay has led to an upward shift in the wage structure, but not to an increase in wage inequality. The presentation was clearly structured and used cutting-edge methods. The paper has outstanding chances of being published at a very high level.

Arne Brekenfeld and Fabian Pfeffer
Photo: Stephan Röhl

A special prize was awarded this year for the best lecture in the Special Session in Memory of Joachim R. Frick to Fabian T. Pfeffer, University of Michigan,
and Martin Hällsten, University of Stockholm for their work on: «Wealth Effects in Three Mobility Regimes. The United States, Germany, and Sweden.» 
The committee points out: "The presentations were not invited papers, but were sent in as part of the normal submission process, and we selected three that seemed especially fitting for this session. We want to honor one of these, not only for the quality of the presentation but also for the value of the research findings.

from left: Arne Brekenfeld, Katrin Sommerfeld, Anja Oppermann, Fabian Pfeffer, Katharina Spieß
Photo: Stephan Röhl


Best Poster

Frieder Kropfhäusser and Marco Sunder from the University of Leipzig for their poster on "A Weighty Issue Revisited: Accounting for Endogeneity and Non-linearity in the Association between Body Weight and Earnings in Germany."

Committee comments: "Not only the research question but also state-of-the-art methods and the attractive layout contributed to the outstanding nature of this poster.".