Areas of Expertise (7)
Law and Finance
Economics of Organizations
Law and Economics
Ulrike Malmendier is the Edward J. and Mollie Arnold Professor of Finance at Berkeley Haas and Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include corporate finance, behavioral economics/behavioral finance; economics of organizations; contract theory; law and economics; law and finance. Her area of focus is the intersection of economics and finance, and why and how individuals make decision—specifically how individuals make mistakes and systematically biased decisions. Some of her work includes research on CEO overconfidence, the long-term frugality of Depression “babies” and the decision-making behind gym membership.
In 2013, Malmendier was awarded the prestigious Fisher Black Prize from the American Finance Association, given biennially to the top financial scholar under the age of 40. The award citation referred to Malmendier’s work in corporate finance; behavioral economics and finance; and contract theory and noted the originality and creativity of her research.
Malmendier has received fellowships and grants from numerous institutions in the U.S. and Europe and many honors, awards, and prizes, including the 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, as well as several Emerald Citations of Excellence by Emerald and Distinguished or Keynote Speaker engagements. In 2015 she was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California at Berkeley’s most prestigious honor for teaching.
She received her PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University in 2002, and her PhD in Law (summa cum laude) from the University of Bonn in 2000. She joined Berkeley in 2006 as an Assistant Professor, after having been at Stanford as Assistant Professor of Finance since 2002. She is also a research associate at NBER—Corporate Finance and Labor Economics—and a faculty research fellow at IZA, a CESifo affiliate, and a CEPR research affiliate. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Max-Planck Institute in Bonn, a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Harvard University: PhD, Business Economics
Harvard University: AM, Business Economics
University of Bonn: PhD, Law
University of Bonn: MA, Economics
University of Bonn: BA equiv., Law
University of Bonn: BA, Economics
Honors & Awards (9)
The Fischer Black Prize
Awarded by the American Finance Association
“Rising Star in Finance” award, Fordham/NYU Rising Stars Conference
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
2010 - 2012
Citation of Excellence by Emerald Management Reviews
Coleman Fung Risk Management Research Center Grant
Kauffman Foundation Grant
Instructional Improvement Grant
Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging Grant
Abigail Reynolds Hodgen Publication Fund Grant
Selected External Service & Affiliations (8)
- Guest Associate Editor, Management Science, Special Issue on Behavioral Economics and Finance
- Associate Editor, Journal of the European Economic Association
- Associate Editor, Journal of Financial Intermediation
- Associate Editor, Economic Journal
- American Finance Association, Western Finance Association, Financial Management Association, European Finance Association, Financial Intermediation Research Society (FIRS) conference, Annual Conference in Corporate Finance
- Washington University
- Memberships: Econometric Society, American Economic Association, American Finance Association
- Referee Service: Academy of Management Review, American Economic Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Econometrica, Economic Journal, Economic Letters, Experimental Economics, Financial Management, Games and Economic Behavior, German Economic Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Journal of European Economic Association, Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Labour Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Management Science, RAND Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Finance, Review of Financial Studies
Positions Held (2)
At Haas since 2010
2012 – present, Professor of Finance, Haas School of Business
2012 – present, Professor of Economics, University of California Berkeley
2009 – present, Research Associate, Corporate Finance and Labor Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
2007 – present, Research Affiliate, Financial Economics, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
2006 – present, Research Affiliate, Labour Economics, CEPR
2006 – present, Affiliate, CESifo
2005 – present, Faculty Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
2010 – 2012, Associate Professor of Finance (with tenure), Haas School of Business
2008 – 2012, Associate Professor of Economics (with tenure), University of California, Berkeley
2006 – 2009, Faculty Research Fellow, Corporate Finance, NBER
2006 – 2008, Assistant Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley
2004 – 2009, Faculty Research Fellow, Labor Economics, NBER
2002 – 2006, Assistant Professor of Finance, Stanford Graduate School of Business
2005, Visiting Fellow, Department of Economics, Princeton University
2005, Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
2000, Visiting Scholar, Max Planck Institute "Law of Common Goods," Bonn (Germany)
1998, Visiting Scholar, Nuttfield College, Oxford University
Media Appearances (15)
Why optimism is a class issue
New Statesman online
A host of research, including work by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group, suggests that hard times during our formative years make us pessimistic long after those times have passed. But being posh insulates you somewhat from hard times, making you more likeley to be upbeat about the future.
Correct market timing is difficult so drip-feed cash into investments
Investors Chronicle online
Addressing an investor's question, the author suggests personal history can make investors unusually fearful. Research by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group has found that people who have experienced tough economic times remain fearful even many years later.
The bias behind monetary policymaking
ING Think online
Like consumers and investors, central bankers are susceptible to biases. Work by Ulrike Malmendier, Edward J. and Mollie Arnold Professor of Finance, found that Fed board members with more exposure to inflation in the past were more likely to have hawkish voting patterns.
Don't Be A Laughingstock: Stamping Out Financial Illiteracy -- Why It's Time to Take Action
A study by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group found that economic crises tend to have long-lasting effects on individuals' behavior.
A brief history of interest rates
Investors Chronicle online
Our ideas of what is normal, and therefore of what to expect, are shaped during our formative years. This holds true for investing, as research by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group has indicated.
Rate threat to shares
Investors Chronicle online
Investors have been unsettled by the possibility of more interest rate hikes. Even if it's not rational, work by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group has shown that our economic opinions are shaped not just by current facts but also by our life experiences.
Why you should vote
Psychology Today online
Research by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group has found that voting has a social status component. Also, telling survey respondents in advance that they would be surveyed about their voting made them end up voting in larger numbers.
NPR Planet Money
The Psychological Effects Of The Financial Crisis, Lingering radio
How did the recession change our habits? Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group, has done pioneering work on the psychological effects of living through different economic events — and specifically the effect on our behavior and our willingness to take risk.
Traumatised by the Great Recession
BBC World Service radio
Recessions can damage an entire country's psyche decades, and living through a recession can alter a young person's attitude to money for the rest of their lives.
Want to win in merger mania? Bet on losing bidders, study shows
North American companies that don’t end up getting their target outperform acquirers by 24 percent in the three years following it, according to research by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group. The high price tag paid for the target and an increase in leverage appear to be behind the underperformance of the winning bidders.
The small-donor antidote to big-donor politics
Center for American Progress online
The article cites research co-authored by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group that confirms that recipients of political “gifts” feel an obligation to the giver, even though they know that the gifts are intended to influence them.
East Germans invest and vote differently. Here’s why
New research co-authored by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group using German brokerage data shows that East Germans’ financial behavior is still, in part, determined by their GDR past. They’re less likely to put money in the stock market or take risks on margin, and they would rather invest in former state companies than in the financial sector.
All Those Bubble Sightings Turned Out to Be Mirages
Calling bubbles is hard. For example, take tech startups. In 2011, billionaire Mark Cuban -- who won much of his own fortune in an earlier tech bubble -- declared that the modern venture-funded startup scene was like a Ponzi scheme.
Northern California artists, academics win Guggenheim funding
SF Gate online
When Ulrike Malmendier needs gasoline, she drives from the UC Berkeley campus all the way down to the freeway where prices are a few cents per gallon cheaper. As an economist, she knows that makes no sense. But she also knows that she was born in 1973, the year of the oil crisis, and connecting those dots is what has landed Malmendier a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Inflation Exposure Shapes Fed Officials Into Hawks and Doves
Bloomberg Quint online
Federal Reserve officials are products of their eras.
A policy maker's hawkish or dovish tilt hinges at least partly on the inflation environment they've experienced, according to new research. That's the leading item in our research wrap this week, and it's followed by a Goldman Sachs analysis of the U.S. economy's neutral interest rate, which is another piece worth reading about ahead of Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee rate decision. This week's roundup also links to studies on single mothers and the marriage premium and on how immigration status affects wages. Check this column each Tuesday for the latest in policy-relevant or interesting economic research.
Selected Papers & Publications (11)
Ulrike Malmendier and K. Schmidt
Ulrike Malmendier, E. Moretti and F. Peters
Ulrike Malmendier, S. DellaVigna, J. List and G. Rao
Ulrike Malmendier and S. Nagel
Ulrike Malmendier, M. Opp and F. Saidi
Ulrike Malmendier and Timothy Taylor
Ulrike Malmendier and Stefan Nagel
Ulrike Malmendier and Young Han Lee
Ulrike Malmendier and Josh Lerner
Ulrike Malmendier and Geoffrey Tate