Second runner-up to the ESR best paper award.

We congratulate Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund, Kristian Heggebø and Jon Rogstad with second place in the prestigious ESR best article of the year Prize 2018.

Gunn Birkelund. Photo: UiO

The article Additive or multiplicative disadvantage? The scarring effects of unemployment for ethnic minorities (European Sociological Review, Volume 33, Issue 1, 1 February 2017) can be read for free online, until October 2019.


Previous research has documented that unemployed job applicants have problems re-entering the labour market, commonly referred to as scarring effects of unemployment. Studies have also documented ethnic discrimination in the labour market. Yet, we do not know how these categories jointly shape employers hiring decisions. Thus, we do not know if unemployed minorities face an additive or a multiplicative disadvantage in hiring processes. Building on experimental data from two waves of a randomized field experiment, we test whether we find an ethnic scarring effect, which would imply that contemporary long-term unemployment is particularly harmful to native-born ethnic minorities. As expected, our experiment documents scarring effects of contemporary long-term unemployment. We also found, as expected, systematically lower call-backs for applicants with Pakistani/Muslim names. Also, our results show that unemployed minorities face an additive disadvantage in the labour market. Thus, we find no evidence of an ethnic scarring effect of unemployment, which would imply different consequences of unemployment for minority and majority applicants.

About the prize

The ESR Best Article of the Year Prize is open to all papers published in ESR during a given year, and awards articles that stimulate rigorous empirical–theoretical sociological research in Europe. Papers are nominated by a jury that includes ESR’s lead editor and a delegate of the ECSR board, who assess papers according the following criteria: 

  • Substantively interesting and relevant research problem
  • Good explanation of the contribution to the field
  • Rigorous use—and possibly development—of social scientific theory
  • Rigorous use of advanced research methods

This year`s winner was Order without Law: Reputation promotes cooperation in a cryptomarket for illegal drugs by Wojtek Przepiorka, Lukas Norbutas, and Rense Corten.

Third place went to Do employers prefer fathers? Evidence from a field experiment testing the gender by parenthood interaction effect on callbacks to job applications by Magnus Bygren, Anni Erlandsson, and Michael Gähler.

Published Nov. 5, 2018 12:25 PM - Last modified Nov. 8, 2018 12:05 PM