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Ulrike Malmendier  - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Ulrike Malmendier Ulrike Malmendier

Professor | Edward J. and Mollie Arnold Professor of Finance | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley



Areas of Expertise (7)

Behavioral Finance

Behavioral Economics

Corporate Finance

Law and Finance

Contract Theory

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.

Education (6)

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 2013

“Rising Star in Finance” award, Fordham/NYU Rising Stars Conference

New York 2012

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

Visiting Positions

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.

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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.

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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.

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Don't Be A Laughingstock: Stamping Out Financial Illiteracy -- Why It's Time to Take Action

Nasdaq  online


A study by Prof. Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas Finance Group found that economic crises tend to have long-lasting effects on individuals' behavior.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Want to win in merger mania? Bet on losing bidders, study shows

Bloomberg  online


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.

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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.

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East Germans invest and vote differently. Here’s why

Bloomberg  online


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.

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All Those Bubble Sightings Turned Out to Be Mirages

Bloomberg  online


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.

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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.

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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.

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Selected Papers & Publications (11)

You Owe Me American Economic Review

Ulrike Malmendier and K. Schmidt


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Winning by Losing: Evidence on Overbidding in Mergers Review of Financial Studies.

Ulrike Malmendier, E. Moretti and F. Peters


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Voting to Tell Others Review of Economic Studies

Ulrike Malmendier, S. DellaVigna, J. List and G. Rao


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Learning from Inflation Experiences Quarterly Journal of Economics

Ulrike Malmendier and S. Nagel


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Target revaluation after failed takeover attempts: Cash versus stock Journal of Financial Economics

Ulrike Malmendier, M. Opp and F. Saidi


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On the Verges of Overconfidence Journal of Economic Perspectives

Ulrike Malmendier and Timothy Taylor


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Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk-Taking? Quarterly Journal of Economics

Ulrike Malmendier and Stefan Nagel


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The Bidder's Curse American Economics Review

Ulrike Malmendier and Young Han Lee


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Contractibility and the Design of Research Agreements American Economics Review

Ulrike Malmendier and Josh Lerner


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Law and Finance at the Origin Journal of Economic Literature

Ulrike Malmendier


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Superstar CEOs Quarterly Journal of Economics

Ulrike Malmendier and Geoffrey Tate


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