A major concern regarding the consequences of offshoring is about the labour market position of low‐skilled workers. This paper provides evidence for Belgium that offshoring has had a negative impact on the employment share of low‐skilled workers in the manufacturing sector between 1995 and 2007. The main contribution to the fall in the low‐skilled employment share came from materials offshoring to Central and Eastern Europe (21%), followed by business services offshoring (8%). In manufacturing industries with a higher ICT capital intensity the impact of offshoring is smaller. For market services industries, no robust conclusions regarding the impact of offshoring on low‐skilled employment could be drawn.
Offshoring is generally believed to be productivity-enhancing and this belief is underpinned by economic theory. This article contributes to the growing literature that tests empirically whether offshoring does indeed help to improve productivity. Estimating the impact of materials and business services offshoring on productivity growth with industry-level data for Belgium over the period 1995-2004, we investigate this issue separately for manufacturing and market services. The results show that there is no productivity effect of materials offshoring, while business services offshoring leads to productivity gains especially in manufacturing. In addition, we look at the possibility of rent spillovers from offshoring. Productivity gains from offshoring in one industry may feed through to other industries that purchase its output for intermediate use if, due to offshoring, the user value exceeds the price of the output. The lack of evidence of such rent spillovers from either materials or business services offshoring in the data leads us to conclude that firms manage to internalise all efficiency gains from offshoring.
The compliance costs of private taxpayers are not only affected by the tax law itself but also by its implementation through the tax authorities. In the following paper we analyze the effect of administrative actions on the compliance costs of private businesses. We demonstrate in a theoretical model that compliance costs may partially be interpreted as externalities of authority behavior. As a result we expect a ”shifting” of administrative cost burdens from the tax administration to private taxpayers, what implies an economically inefficient outcome. Based on Belgian survey data, we find empirical evidence for the elucidated relationship. We give an quantitative estimate for the accordant effects and demonstrate, which activities of the administration are the most important cost drivers. Furthermore, we find empirical support that the effect of administrative issues is independent from the impact of the tax law itself.
The aim of this paper is to describe product market competition in the Belgian economy for the period 1997-2004 and to illustrate some causality with market regulation. The analysis is held at the industry level, for selected manufacturing and services industries. Emphasis is given to the profit elasticity (PE) measurement of competition (the “Boone” indicator) and the average profitability (AP) indicator (an approximation of the mark-up indicator). We applied the OECD Regimpact indicator as a proxy for regulation. We present some stylized facts, for Belgium in comparison with selected EU countries; and through an econometric exercise we illustrate the potential of regulation as an explanatory variable for competition.
This paper investigates graphically and econometrically the relationship between the relative positions, in terms of value added and relative prices, of Belgian manufacturing and market services in the European Union over 1970-2005. Relative prices are then decomposed into relative unit costs of factors of production. The analysis goes further by replacing relative unit labour cost with relative hourly wages and relative productivity. Finally, relative produc-tivity is replaced with relative capital deepening, relative labour composition effect and relative total factor productivity. All data are coming from the EUKLEMS database, March 2008 release.