Visiting Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Spring 2024

In Spring 2024, I will be visiting the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, one of the world’s leading research centres devoted to understanding human cognition and behavior. I will be working at the Group Decision Neuroscience of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging led by Alan Sanfey. During my time at the Donders Institute I will be conducting further research for my book IGNITE.


My book IGNITE will be published in Spring 2025

My book “IGNITE – Unlock your brain’s true potential – and change your life” will be published in Spring 2025 by Bedford Square Publishers and Cargo/De Bezige Bij. The Chinese translation will be published in 2026 by Booky Culture Media

Unlock the secrets to a happier you with IGNITE. Despite a successful academic career, Neeltje van Horen wrestled with self-doubt and insecurities. Her life transformed when she chose to face her challenges head-on, embarking on a quest to unlock the untapped potential of her brain.

In IGNITE, van Horen shares the secrets to maximizing your brain’s capabilities. Through a unique blend of personal storytelling and rigorous scientific research, she presents practical strategies for enhancing cognition, boosting memory, fostering creativity, and cultivating a positive mindset. 

Drawing on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and economics, this comprehensive guide hands you the keys to unlocking your brain’s true potential. Discover how small shifts in your thinking and daily routines can spark significant changes in your life. 

IGNITE is your roadmap to a richer, more fulfilling life, whether you’re an academic, creative, CEO, student, or a stay-at-home parent. Let it serve as your compass to better decision-making, increased productivity, and the work-life balance you crave. Discover the power within you and ignite change today!


The Bank Ownership Database is getting an update!

Karsten Muller and I are excited to announce that we have begun the process of updating the Bank Ownership Database. This comprehensive resource will soon include ownership information for a large number of banks spanning from 1995 to 2022. Stay tuned for more updates and announcements!


New working paper: Housing wealth inequality and mortgage market stimulus

In this paper (joint with Belinda Tracey) we shed new light on the relationship between the down payment requirement and housing wealth inequality. Studying the UK Help-to-Buy program we show that lowering the down payment requirement reduces housing wealth inequality by weakening the link between (parental) wealth and homeownership.  


Inaugural lecture: Financing future economic growth

Friday 28th October I will deliver my Inaugural Lecture “Financing Future Economic Growth” at the University of Amsterdam. I will talk about the importance of finance for economic growth and how improvement of finance for SMEs, in particular young, high-potential ones, will be a crucial factor generating future economic growth, lower long-term inflation and the transition to net-zero.

Inaugural Lecture [PDF]


New working paper: Startup types and macroeconomic performance in Europe

New research with Ralph de Haas and Vincent Sterk studying dynamics of European startups using unsupervised learning . We distinguish five starts-up types: capital intensive, cash-rich, high leverage, large and basic. We show that shifting the composition of startup cohorts can boost macroeconomic performance.


New working paper: The consumption response to borrowing constraints in the mortgage market

In this paper Belinda Tracey and I study the UK Help-to-Buy program. We show that relaxing the down payment constraint positively affects household consumption in addition to stimulating housing market activity. Our findings point to a further link between the housing market and household consumption that does not operate through the home purchase and housing wealth channels.


VoxEU article “Cash in the time of corona”

Cash is king as we argue in our new VoxEU blog (joint with Andi Joseph, Christiane Kneer and Jumana Saleheen). Companies with large amounts of cash on their balance sheet at the onset of the coronavirus crisis might enjoy a place in the sun and might emerge as winners in the post-Covid world.


Appointed as Professor of Financial Economics at the University of Amsterdam

I have been appointed Professor of Financial Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Starting from July 2020 I will combine my professorship with my position as a Senior Research Advisor at the Bank of England. You can find the announcement here.


My paper “Foreign Banks and Trade” accepted for Journal of Financial Intermediation

In this paper Stijn Claessens and I exploit our Bank Ownership Database and we show that the presence and entry of a foreign bank has a positive impact on bilateral export and (to a lesser extent) import. We find evidence that indicates that foreign banks facilitate trade by reducing financial frictions for firms that (want to) trade.


New working paper on the importance of cash for firm investment after a financial crisis

In a new working paper: “All you need is cash: Corporate cash holdings and investment after the financial crisis” written jointly with Andi Joseph, Christiane Kneer and Jumana Saleheen  we show that having cash at hand allows firms to continue to invest during the crisis while industry rivals without cash have to divest. This gives cash-rich firms an important competitive edge that not only benefits them during the crisis but that gives them an advantage that lasts way beyond the crisis years. See also our blog on the topic.


The Invisible hand of the government” featured in AEA journals Research Highlight

European domestic banks were more likely to buy bonds issued by the governments when default looked imminent. What persuaded them? See


Panel discussion on the role of non-banks in the economy at ESRB Annual Conference.

At the fourth ESRB Annual Conference I discussed the link between demographic changes and non-bank activity in the mortgage market. I highlighted the role insurers can play unlocking cash when retirees are asset rich but cash poor.  See here my presentation


My paper “The Invisible Hand of the Government” accepted for American Economic Journal – Macroeconomics

My paper “The Invisible Hand of the Government: Moral Suasion during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis” written jointly with Steven Ongena and Alexander Popov has been accepted for the American Economic Journal – Macroeconomics. Using a novel two-layered identification strategy we provide evidence of moral suasion affecting government bond markets during the European sovereign debt crisis. During the height of the sovereign debt crisis, domestic banks were more likely than foreign banks to purchase domestic sovereign bonds during months in which the government needed to roll over a relatively large amount of maturing debt. Domestic banks that received government support, are small or with weaker balance sheets were particularly susceptible to moral suasion. Governance of banks played less of a role.

See all publications


Panel discussion on policy evaluation at the 2018 CEBRA Annual Meeting

At the 2018 CEBRA Annual Meeting the Deutsche Bundesbank and Financial Stability Board organized a high‐level panel on the evaluation of the G20 regulatory reforms. Together with Dietrich Domanski (FSB) and Joao Santos (NY Fed), I discussed the challenges and opportunities of policy evaluation. See here my presentation [link to ppt].


New working paper on the impact of the leverage ratio on repo market functioning

In my new working paper “Repo Market Functioning: The Role of Capital Regulation”, Antonis Kotidis and I show that a tightening of the leverage ratio in the UK reduced repo market liquidity, especially affecting smaller end users such as banks, insurers, pension funds and asset managers. We also show that other foreign dealers not affected by the tightening stepped into the market and gained market share, effectively benefitting from tighter UK regulation.


Paper “When Arm’s Length is too Far” accepted for Journal of Financial Economics

My paper “When Arm’s Length is too Far: Relationship Banking over the Credit Cycle” written jointly with Thorsten Beck, Hans Degryse and Ralph de Haas has been accepted for the Journal of Financial Economics. Using data from 21 countries in central and eastern Europe we show that relationship lending alleviates credit constraints during a cyclical downturn but not during a boom period. The positive impact of relationship lending in an economic downturn is strongest for smaller and more opaque firms and in regions where the downturn is more severe.


Pagano-Zechner price for my paper “Exporting Sovereign Stress”

My paper “Exporting Sovereign Stress: Evidence from Syndicated Bank Lending during the Euro Area Sovereign Debt Crisis”, written together with Alex Popov won the 2016 Pagano-Zechner price for the best non-investment paper in the Review of Finance. In this paper we show that tensions in Eurozone government-bond markets were transmitted internationally through the bank lending channel. Lending by European banks with sizeable exposures to sovereign debt from the troubled Eurozone countries became impaired after the start of the crisis. This resulted in a reallocation away from foreign markets except the US and an increase in home bias.