Prof. Ulrike Malmendier Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Berkeley-Haas Finance Prof. Ulrike Malmendier, a pioneer in the field of behavioral economics, has been named a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for her research on financial behavior.

Malmendier, was among 173 scholars, artists, and scientists chosen from nearly 3,000 applicants for the award, which is given annually by the John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation. The recipients include seven UC Berkeley faculty—more than any other university.

The fellowships are granted on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

The award money—about $5,000—is tied to a specific project. Malmendier will use the grant to continue her research on the Experience Effect, her theory that financial behavior is influenced by the economic conditions that a person has lived through.

This year’s other fellows from UC Berkeley are: Wendy Brown (Political Science); Cindy Cox (Music Composition); Tom Griffiths (Psychology); Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (European & Latin American History); Samuel Otter (American Literature); and Richmond Sarpong (Chemistry).

Malmendier, who has taught finance at Haas since 2010, is the Edward J. and Mollie Arnold Professor of Finance at Haas and a professor of economics at UC Berkeley, where she is the founding co-chair of the Initiative in Behavioral Finance and Economics.

She won the prestigious Fischer Black Prize from the American Finance Association in 2013, for the originality and creativity of her research. She was inducted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.

Malmendier focuses on the intersection of economics and finance, and why and how individuals make decisions. Some of her work includes research on CEO overconfidence, the long-term frugality of “Depression babies,” and the decision-making behind gym membership. Recently, she’s researched the impact of economic shocks, such as high inflation or unemployment, on later economic behavior.