This autumn we have not only welcomed many new students to our team but also two new lecturers. This week, Wendy Farrell and Moritz Mosenhauer start teaching their first courses in our Bachelor and Master programs. We asked both of them for an interview.
In this article, you get to know Moritz Mosenhauer, lecturer in the field of finance & economics.
What did you do before you started to work at MCI?
I spent the last 4 years in the University of Glasgow to study Ph.D. in Economics. Before that, I did my Master in Economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and my Bachelor in East Asian Economies and Politics at the Ruhr-University in Bochum.
What are your research interests?
I am fascinated by individual decision-making: what makes a single human being think “left or right”, “buy or sell”, “guilty or not guilty”? My approach in this has a clear behavioral economic slant, meaning that I do not assume people to be “perfectly rational”. Instead, my research draws on insights from psychology to identify mistakes in cognition or cognitive constraints under which real people operate. I also find it more engaging to apply my studies to real-life phenomena, namely organizational economics and household finance.
What are your current research projects?
People sometimes act against their own interest – we fail to stick to self-imposed exercise- or diet-regimes, we procrastinate school and housework, etc. Even worse: often these mistakes are systematic and predictable. Towards retirement, people seldom realise that they have saved too much money, but, if anything, rather too little. I investigate novel approaches to mitigate such unfortunately common problems by looking whether they can be reversed with the help of smart information management. For example, private households participating in stock market may sometimes be tempted into panic-sales if they see a stock in their portfolio starting to plunge. However, research shows that on average these maneuvers cost a lot in trading fees and gain little. Therefore, households may actually earn more (and probably incidentally also worry less) by receiving less news on their stocks’ performances. I tested this hypothesis in an experiment with more than 300 subjects and found support for it. Interestingly, recent studies show that decision-mistakes also extend to top CEOs in top firms, i.e. highly trained professionals operating in high-stake circumstances. To address this issue, I have looked into how information channels should be structured within a firm. I was able to map out circumstances under which a full information regime should be switched for essentially an “alert-system”, where the CEO is only informed under exceptional circumstances.
Who is your role model in your field of research?
As a behavioral economic-aficionado, I must mention Daniel Kahneman here – Nobel prize winner in Economics while claiming to never having sat through a single lecture of Economics in his life. Already halfway through his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, probably a part of me knew that I’ve found my calling for life. What maybe impresses me most is how he (and his long-standing research partner Amos Tversky) managed to combine common-sense intuition, sharp theoretical modelling and solid empirics. More recently, I have been strongly influenced by the studies of Brad Barber, Terrance Odean et al. And last, but certainly not least, no single members of the academic community have shaped me more by word and deed than my doctoral supervisors Sayantan Ghosal and Yiannis Vailakis.
Thank you for the interview and have a good start at MCI!
Moritz Mosenhauer. Photo: MCI
For more information on Moritz Mosenhauer visit his website or MCI profile:
Bachelor and Master programs at the department: