You are making a selection focused on the theme 'Regulation and globalisation'. You can increase the number of documents listed by selecting the main theme 'All themes' at the top of the left-hand column.
You can restrict the number of documents listed by selecting a specific sub-theme in the left-hand column.
In the recent past, medium-term projections were given less attention than short-term analyses. However, things appear to have evolved and mid-term prospects seem to be enjoying a renewed interest. Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, many countries have been confronted with large imbalances in terms of high unemployment, unused production capacities or financial deficits. In the longer term, demographic changes, including population ageing, are likely to cause massive changes in the composition of GDP. Addressing these various challenges can only be considered in the context of medium- and long-term scenarios.
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.
Date : 24/11/2011
A better understanding of productivity evolution requires a specially adapted statistical tool that allows an industry-based analysis of the fundamental trends of the economy. Therefore, the Federal Planning Bureau is working with other European institutions on a project, financed by the European Union’s sixth framework programme for research, to develop the EUKLEMS database.
The database EUKLEMS contains the variables for analysing the evolution of productivity at the industry-level from 1970 to 2007, for all European countries, Australia, Japan, Korea and the US. The last release of the database was realised in November 2009, for 32 industries. The available variables concern production, value added, intermediary consumption, employment and the skill level of the labour force, capital with a distinction between capital linked to information and communication technologies (ICT) or not. The growth contributions of both the different production factors and total factor productivity are also available. An update was carried out in March 2011; it provides a 72-industry breakdown of variables published in November 2009, for most countries.
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.
Increased international economic integration and skill-biased technological change are often regarded as the main drivers of the rising inequality in wages and employment witnessed in industrialized countries in recent decades as they are believed to emphasize differences between individuals in level of education. However, proponents of a task-based view of technological change and offshoring stress the evolving content of tasks as the major determinant of shifts in labour demand and argue that this does not necessarily imply a clear-cut match between the level of education and job opportunities. Belgian data from the Structure and Distribution of Earnings Survey for the period 1999-2004 suggest that the level of wages is significantly correlated with the level of education but wage growth is not. Occupation seems to explain a statistically significant part of the wage level as well as wage growth of workers. The analysis supports the view that the level of education provides less information than the occupation of workers in explaining changes in wages and employment. Overall, it appears that a policy that simply aims to increase the level of education of the active population is not warranted. In addition to the risk of over-education, such a policy is not likely to alleviate the mismatch which to some extent exists between the competencies required by employers and the competencies offered by workers and the unemployed.
The fear of massive job losses has prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. The offshoring intensity is computed as a volume measure of the share of imported intermediate inputs in output based on a series of constant price supply-and-use tables for the period 1995-2003. Both materials and business services offshoring to high-wage and low-wage countries are addressed. The split-up according to the origin of the imported intermediates is done combining detailed trade data with data from the use table. The main findings are that materials offshoring stands at a higher level than business services offshoring, but that the latter grows much faster especially for the Central and Eastern European countries. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003. However, this does not preclude a differential impact by skill-level.
This paper provides a rough estimate for Belgium of the proportion of service jobs at risk of being offshored in the wake of ICT-developments, and compares the results for Belgium with results for the EU15 and the US. Occupational employment data from the Labour Force Survey are used to produce this estimate by identifying service jobs that could possibly be offshored due to ICT-enabled tradability. The results show that the share of such jobs is lower for Belgium than for the EU15 or the US, but that there is an upward trend in this share over the period 1993 to 2005. Industry-level data and a shift-and-share analysis are used to explain the results.