Ulrike Malmendier, Edward J. and Mollie Arnold professor of finance at the Haas School of Business, was appointed to the German Council of Economic Experts on Aug. 10.
Malmendier, who is also a professor in the UC Berkeley department of economics, said she began teaching as a campus lecturer in 2005. Having earned her doctoral degree in law at the University of Bonn and a doctoral degree in Business Economics at Harvard University, Malmendier is often cited as an expert in behavioral economics, behavioral finance and corporate finance, according to a Haas press release.
Her interest in behavioral economics came as a result of studying law and economics while an undergraduate student, Malmendier said. She added that it was when she went to Harvard that she became immersed in the field of behavioral economics.
“When I went to Harvard there were lots of people interested in behavioral economics,” Malmendier said. “I was drawn to it because finally the humans in these models and empirical analyses were real humans like the ones I knew from my law studies.”
According to Malmendier, she aims to apply her expertise and research in behavioral economics toward economic policymaking in Germany.
Malmendier noted two examples of her visions to apply behavioral economics to economic policymaking: the appeal to social preferences in energy conservation in Germany and the long-lasting effects current inflation rates may have on populations.
Assistant finance professor Anastassia Fedyk expressed praise for Malmendier’s appointment and expertise in behavioral economics and corporate finance.
“Her research is the perfect mix of innovative scholarship with policy-relevant applications,” Fedyk said in an email. “Without a doubt, Professor Malmendier is a fantastic addition to the Council.”
Malmendier said she hopes to bring an international perspective to the council, citing that her experience addressing issues like high inflation and political infighting can be applicable across national borders.
According to Fedyk, some of Malmendier’s recent work explores how inflation expectations and other economic conditions can be shaped by past experiences of both central bankers and consumers.
Her tools of analysis can be used to advance academic research and can also be implemented in practice, Malmendier noted.
“This is very fulfilling, to be able to take it outside the ivory tower and see what I can do in the real world,” Malmendier said. “I look forward to it and hope that I can have a good influence.”