Professor | Cora Jane Flood Professor of Finance

Leading expert on behavioral science, behavioral finance, and corporate finance.


Ulrike Malmendier is the Cora Jane Flood 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.

Expertise and Research Interests

  • Behavioral Finance
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Law and Finance
  • Contract Theory
  • Economics of Organizations
  • Law and Economics