PhD defence of Saskia Ter Ellen on Thursday 28 May 2015

On Thursday 28 May 2015 Saskia ter Ellen will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'Measurement, dynamics, and implications of heterogeneous beliefs in financial markets'. Supervisors are Professor Remco Zwinkels (Erasmus School of Economics - Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Professor Willem Verschoor (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration - VU University Amsterdam). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Professor Patrick Verwijmeren (Erasmus School of Economics - Erasmus University Rotterdam), Professor Mathijs van Dijk (Rotterdam School of Management - Erasmus University Rotterdam) and professor Xue-Zhong He (University of Technology, Sydney).

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 13.30 hrs.

About Saskia ter Ellen

Saskia ter Ellen was born on 6 February 1987 in Strijen, The Netherlands. She graduated from Radboud University Nijmegen with a Bachelor degree in Economics in 2009, after having been active as a board member of ‘Economische Studenten Vereniging’ in 2006/2007 and ‘United Netherlands’ in 2008/2009. In the summer of 2009 she moved to Rotterdam to complete a Master in Financial Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, and stayed there to obtain a PhD degree under the supervision of Willem Verschoor and Remco Zwinkels. During her PhD Saskia spent four months at University of Technology Sydney to work with Carl Chiarella, Xue-Zhong He and Eliza Wu. She presented her work at numerous conferences and seminars. In her last year she organized the ‘Research in Behavioural Finance Conference’ in cooperation with Martijn van den Assem and Remco Zwinkels, which will be the first in a biennial sequence due to its overwhelming success. She has supervised various master theses, was a teaching assistant for the BSc course ‘Financial Methods and Techniques’ and co-developed and taught the intensive MSc course ‘Seminar Behavioural Finance’. Chapters 3 and 4 of this dissertation have been published in respectively ‘Journal of International Money and Finance’ and ‘Journal of Empirical Finance’. Besides these academic accomplishments, one of her main accomplishments during the years of her PhD was finishing the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2013. Saskia currently lives in Oslo, where she works as a Research Economist in the research department of Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank. 

Abstract of 'Measurement, dynamics, and implications of heterogeneous beliefs in financial markets'

This dissertation is part of a growing research field in which the heterogeneity of economic actors is incorporated. It bundles four studies that consider the measurement, dynamics and implications of heterogeneous beliefs in financial markets, using a variety of datasets. The studies show that investors are not only heterogeneous, they also do not use stable, unconditional, forecasting rules to form their expectation on future movements of financial markets. Instead, they may change the way they form expectations based on various factors, such as the past performance of different forecasting rules or the horizon for which they form their expectations. The dynamics between the different types of investors can cause periods of severe mispricing and disruption of financial markets. Survey datasets that contain analysts’ forecast are important tools to unravel investor expectation mechanisms and dynamics that can otherwise not always be directly observed in the data. They can also reveal why investors sometimes disagree more with each other than at other times and how these underlying reasons can be of crucial importance for market dynamics.

More information

Ter Ellen’s PhD research project is conducted within the Erasmus Doctoral Programme organized by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), the joint research institute of Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

For more information about this ceremony, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communication Officer of the Erasmus School of Economics phone +31 10 408 1762 or by e-mail:

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