Klaus Wertenbroch

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Professor of Marketing

INSEAD Europe Campus (on leave at UC Berkeley, spring 2009)

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Professor Wertenbroch is currently on sabbatical leave as Visiting Professor of Marketing at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. In his marketing teaching, he focuses on strategic brand management, behavioral pricing, consumer behavior, and decision-making, and currently directs INSEAD's International Marketing Programme. He has taught in M.B.A., Ph.D., and executive programs in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and has worked with clients including Allianz, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cemex, Citigroup, IBM, Lafarge, LG, L'Oreal, Metro, Nissan, Petronas, Philip Morris, and Starwood Hotels. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. (Diplom) in Psychology from the Darmstadt University of Technology in his native Germany. At INSEAD, he has been based in both Singapore and Fontainebleau and has served as the director of the INSEAD Social Science Research Center in Paris. Before joining INSEAD, he was a faculty member at Duke University and at Yale University.

Klaus studies consumer decision-making and its strategic marketing implications at the intersection of psychology and economics (e.g., pricing implications of consumption self-control and of impulsive and hedonic choice, self-signaling costs and benefits of temptation). He is particularly interested in how consumers strategically manipulate the (purchase, spending, and consumption) choice contexts, to which they expose themselves, in order to self-induce virtuous behavior. Klaus's research has appeared in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Psychological Science. It was featured by the Financial Times, Sloan Management Review, and Harvard Business Review and has received international newspaper, radio, and TV coverage by, among others, BBC Radio, Le Figaro, National Public Radio, Nightly Business Report, Psychology Today, Tagesspiegel, The Economist.com, and U.S. Industry Today. His research won the 1995 American Marketing Association dissertation award and the 2005 O'Dell award, the most prestigious annual award in marketing, for the Journal of Marketing Research article that has made the most significant long-term contribution to marketing over the previous five years. He was also a finalist for the 2006 Journal of Consumer Research Best Article Award. Klaus is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Consumer Psychology and is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing Research, among others.

Recent Publications
Free Will, Temptation, and Self-Control: We Must Believe in Free Will, We Have No Choice (Isaac B. Singer)
Wertenbroch, K., Vosgerau, J., & Bruyneel, S. (2008), Journal of Consumer Psychology, 18 (January), 27-33. Proposes that consumer psychology as an empirical social science cannot resolve the question of free will but can and should examine the antecedents and consequences of consumers' belief in free will.
A Behavioral Decision Theory Perspective on Hedonic and Utilitarian Choice
Khan, U., Dhar, R., & Wertenbroch, K. (2005), in Inside Consumption: Frontiers of Research on Consumer Motives, Goals, and Desires (2005), ed. S. Ratneshwar and David Glen Mick, London: Routledge, 144-165. Presents and clarifies various conceptual distinctions drawn in the marketing and consumer behavior literature between vices and virtues, hedonic and utilitarian goods, affective and cognitive goods, and shoulds and wants.
Self-Rationing: Self-Control in Consumer Choice
Wertenbroch, K. (2003), in Time and Decision: Economic and Psychological Perspectives on Intertemporal Choice (2003), eds. George Loewenstein, Daniel Read, and Roy Baumeister, New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 491-516. Presents a theory of self-control by precommitment in consumer choice, along with a review of the literature.
Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control by Precommitment
Ariely, D., & Wertenbroch, K. (2002), Psychological Science, 13 (May), 219-224. Experimental evidence of sophisticates' (as opposed to naifs') insight into, and use of, precommitment strategies (i.e., self-imposed costly deadlines) to address their own procrastination self-control problems. Also shows performance benefits...
Consumption Self-Control by Rationing Purchase Quantities of Virtue and Vice
Wertenbroch, K. (1998), Marketing Science, 17 (4), 317-337. First empirical demonstration (using experimental, field, and market-level data) in the self-control literature of how consumers apply precommitment strategies to control their consumption of vice and virtue goods.
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INSEAD Europe Campus (on leave at UC Berkeley, spring 2009)

Current Position

Professor of Marketing

Highest Degree

Ph.D. (The University of Chicago)

Research Interests

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