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The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.

Income distribution and poverty



The evolution of the risk of poverty in Belgium among the population under 60 years of age [04/06/2021]

The first part of this Working Paper discusses the main trends in Belgium regarding the risk of poverty, compared to those in the EU27 and neighbouring countries. A second part shows that the increase in the risk of poverty in the population under 60 years can be partly attributed to an increase in the concentration of the lack of paid work in certain households. Also, social security benefits and social assistance benefits are less and less successful in raising jobless households above the poverty threshold.

Regional child benefit reforms – An impact analysis with the microsimulation model EXPEDITION [18/05/2021]

This Working Paper puts the policy choices made in the regional child benefit reforms into perspective. Using the microsimulation model EXPEDITION, the expected direct effects of these reforms on child benefit expenditure and income distribution are mapped out. Special attention is paid to the effects on the simulated poverty risk of (families with) children, as this was a shared concern during the reforms in the different regions.



Besides analysing the budget outlooks for the pension schemes and the scheme of guaranteed income for the elderly, the FPB also examines these schemes from the point of view of income distribution.

What are the redistribution aspects of the different pension schemes? How does the poverty risk develop among pensioners? Are statutory pensions an efficient tool for fighting against poverty amongst the elderly? If so, will this still be the case in the years to come? How will the replacement rates of the different pensioner categories develop in each pension scheme? What would be the impact of reforms on the amount of the pension benefit for various types of beneficiaries? These are a few examples of the questions the Federal Planning Bureau is trying to answer.

Methods and tools

Parallel to analysing the suitability of the different statutory pension schemes in the fight against poverty and the evolution of the poverty rates (according to various data sources), the FPB also uses the following instruments:

  • the MALTESE model, used to study the repercussions of the evolution of socioeconomic behaviours as well as of social policy measures on future benefit rates within the context of population ageing;
  • MIDAS, a dynamic micro-simulation model based on a representative sample survey of the population using administrative data and which gives a long-term projection of the risk of poverty, the degree of pension inequality and other indicators with regard to pension adequacy (see WP 10-10).


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