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VdF: Best Publication Prize 2011

Best Scientific Publication

First prizes:

Maike Luhmann, Michael Eid (Free University Berlin)
Does it Really Feel the Same? Changes in Life Satisfaction Following Repeated Life Events.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 97, no. 2 (2009), 363-381.
Prize money: 1000 €

Unemployment, divorce, and marriage are common life events for most people in Western societies. In a longitudinal study, the authors investigated how these life events affect life satisfaction when they occur repeatedly. Data came from the German Socio-Economic Panel, a large-scale representative panel study, and were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Results showed that, in general, life satisfaction decreases with repeated unemployment (sensitization). For repeated divorces, life satisfaction is higher at the second divorce than it had been at the first divorce (adaptation). Finally, life satisfaction is similar at repeated marriages. Neuroticism, extraversion, and gender accounted for interindividual differences in changes in life satisfaction. For instance, the general sensitization pattern associated with repeated unemployment was less pronounced for women. The authors also found main effects of age and the duration of the first event on general differences in life satisfaction. Finally, those with repeated events generally report lower life satisfaction than those with only one occasion of these events, even before the first event actually occurred. Findings show that repeated events can have very different effects on life satisfaction that depend on the nature of the event. 

Jürgen Gerhards, Silke Hans (Free University Berlin)
From Hassan to Herbert: Name-Giving Patterns of Immigrant Parents between Acculturation and Ethnic Maintenance.
American Journal of Sociology 114, no. 1 (2009), 8-11
Prize money: 1000 €

Names often indicate belonging to a certain ethnic group. When immigrant parents choose a first name for their child that is common in their host society, they show a high degree of acculturation. In contrast, selecting a name common only in the parents’ country of origin indicates ethnic maintenance. Using data from the German Socio-economic Panel for Turkish, Southwest European, and former Yugoslav immigrants, the authors show that acculturation in terms of name giving depends on several factors: the cultural boundary between the country of origin and the host society, the parents’ sociostructural integration in terms of education and citizenship, interethnic networks, and religious affiliation.

Second prizes:

Eva Gutiérrez-i-Puigarnau, Jos van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam)
Labour Supply and Commuting
Journal of Urban Economics 68, no. 1 (2010), 82-89
Prize money: 500 €

We examine the effect of commuting distance on workers’ labour supply patterns, distinguishing between weekly labour supply, number of workdays per week and daily labour supply. We account for endogeneity of distance by using employer-induced changes in distance. In Germany, distance has a slight positive effect on daily and weekly labour supply, but no effect on the number of workdays. The effect of distance on labour supply patterns is stronger for female workers, but it is still small. 

Christian Grund (University of Würzburg), Dirk Sliwka (University of Bonn)
Evidence in Performance Pay and Risk Aversion.
Economic Letters 106, no. 1 (2010), 8-11
Making use of a unique representative data set, we find clear evidence that risk aversion has a highly significant and substantial negative impact on the probability that an employee's pay is performance contingent, which confirms the well known risk-incentive trade-off.
Prize money: 500 €

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Best Junior Publication

First prizes:
Prize money: 500 € each

Richard Traunmüller (University of Konstanz)
Religion und Sozialintegration. Eine empirische Analyse der religiösen Grundlagen sozialen Kapitals.
Berliner Journal für Soziologie 19, no. 3 (2009), 435-468

This paper examines the role of religion as a source of social capital in Germany. In addition to networks of civic engagement and informal social connections with family and friends, the identity- and status-bridging nature of these networks are also considered. Results based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) suggest that both, subjective religiosity and public religious practice, have a positive impact on social integration in Germany. But religious traditions differ in this regard. While attending religious services leads to larger friendship networks and increased sociability in all religions, civic engagement is only fostered by Christian religiosity and in particular Protestantism. However, none of the religious traditions encourages identity- or status-bridging social capital.

Christian Pfeifer (Leibniz University Hannover) toghether with Thomas Cornelißen
The Impact of Participation in Sports on Educational Attainment - New Evidence from Germany
Economics of Education Review 29, no. 1 (2010), 94-103

We analyze the impact of exercising sports during childhood and adolescence on educational attainment. The theoretical framework is based on models of allocation of time and educational productivity. Using the rich information from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we apply generalized ordered probit models to estimate the effect of participation in sport activities on secondary school degrees and professional degrees. Even after controlling for important variables and selection into sport, we find strong evidence that the effect of sport on educational attainment is statistically significant and positive. 

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Best Article by Journalists

First prize:

Bernau, Patrick (2010).
Unserer Mittelschicht geht es prächtig
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), July 18, 2010
Artikel im Internet
Prize money: 500 €

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