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The Institution

The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is an independent public agency. It draws up studies and projections on economic, social and environmental policy issues and on the integration of these policies within a context of sustainable development.

Bernhard Klaus Michel



  • Sectoral and environmental accounts and analyses
  • Structural studies

CV & Publicaties

  • Délocalisations au sens large : conséquences pour l’emploi et la productivité sectorielle en Belgique
    Delokalisaties in ruime zin: gevolgen voor de sectorale werkgelegenheid en productiviteit in België

    Article 20171121 [21/11/2017]
  • Belgium’s Carbon Footprint - Calculations based on a national accounts consistent global multi-regional input-output table

    The traditional attribution of responsibility for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to producing countries may be distorted by international trade flows as importing emission-intensive commodities contributes to reducing a country’s production-based emissions. This has motivated the calculation of carbon footprints that measure the amount of domestic and foreign GHG emissions (directly and indirectly) embodied in commodities intended for final consumption by a country’s residents. In this
    working paper, we present carbon footprint estimations for Belgium based on global multi-regional input-output (MRIO) tables that have been made consistent with detailed Belgian national accounts. According to our calculations, Belgium’s carbon footprint is substantially higher than its productionbased emissions, which means that Belgium is a net importer of GHG emissions. Moreover, our results show that consistency with detailed national accounts does matter for MRIO-based carbon footprint calculations, in particular for a small open economy like Belgium.

    Working Paper 10-17 [28/09/2017]
  • Analyse du tableau input-output interrégional pour l’année 2010
    Analyse van de interregionale input-outputtabel voor het jaar 2010

    This working paper presents two analytical applications based on the interregional input-output (IO) table for Belgium for the year 2010. The Federal Planning Bureau constructed this table in 2015 in cooperation with the statistical authorities of the country’s three Regions (IBSA, SVR and IWEPS). The following standard IO analyses based on applying the Leontief model to the interregional IO table are presented here: the derivation of multipliers for each region and the estimation of regional value added and regional employment generated by domestic final demand and exports.

    Working Paper 05-16 [29/04/2016]
  • Décomposition de l'évolution du coût salarial horaire de l'économie belge et de ses branches d'activité, 2000-2010

    This article presents a traditional shift-share decomposition to identify contributions of three effects on the rise in the hourly wage cost in Belgium: changes in the industry composition of total hours worked (composition effect), changes in the structure of employment in terms of categories of workers (employment structure effect), and increases in the hourly wage cost of these individual categories (wage effect).

    Working Paper 01-15 [21/01/2015]
  • Tableaux Entrées-Sorties 2010
    Input-outputtabellen 2010

    Input-Output Table 2010 [20/12/2013]
  • Downstream Offshoring and Firm-level - Employment Evidence for Belgian Manufacturing Firms

    Over the last couple of decades, there has been a large scale reorganisation of manufacturing production processes within global value chains. This has been achieved through fragmentation and offshoring. Fostered by the fall in coordination costs due to information and communication technology developments, offshoring implies that firms increasingly source intermediates from abroad. In developed economies, this has raised fears of massive job losses. Most academic work, in contrast, fails to find evidence that offshoring contributes to lowering employment.

    Working Paper 16-13 [16/12/2013]
  • Is offshoring driven by air emissions? Testing the pollution haven effect for imports of intermediates

    Over the last couple of decades, trade liberalisation has progressed and environmental regulations have become more stringent, in particular regarding emissions of air pollution. This has raised the fear in developed countries that emission-intensive activities are increasingly carried out abroad. This paper develops an approach for testing whether emission-intensive industries have greater shares of imported intermediate materials. The test is applied to the Belgian manufacturing sector for the years 1995-2007. Emissions of three types of air pollutants are analysed: greenhouse gases, acidifying gases and tropospheric precursor gases. The results provide evidence that industries with a high intensity in acidifying gas emissions  (SO2, NOX and NH3) tend to import a greater share of intermediate materials. This is likely to be linked to the stricter enforcement of regulations for air quality, which act upon acidifying gases. There is no such evidence in the results for emissions of tropospheric precursor gases and in particular of greenhouse gases. Regarding the latter, despite stringent regulations, enforcement appears to be less strict.

    Working Paper 12-13 [11/10/2013]
  • Does Offshoring Contribute to Reducing Air Emissions? Evidence from Belgian Manufacturing

    Since the mid-90’s, production-related air emissions in Belgian manufacturing have been reduced substantially and it can be shown that the pace of the reduction has been fastest for domestic intermediates. It is widely debated whether offshoring has played a role in this reduction by replacing domestic intermediates by imported intermediates. This paper develops a decomposition analysis to measure the contribution of offshoring – the share of  imported intermediates in total intermediates – to the fall in air emission intensities for domestic intermediates. This decomposition analysis reveals that 27% of the fall in the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions, 20% of the fall in the intensity of acidifying emissions and 20% of the fall in the intensity of tropospheric precursor emissions in Belgian manufacturing between 1995 and 2007 can be attributed to offshoring.

    Working Paper 05-13 [24/05/2013]
  • Offshoring and the Skill Structure of Labour Demand in Belgium

    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.

    Working Paper 07-12 [30/05/2012]
  • Supply and Use Tables and Input-Output Tables 1995-2007 for Belgium - Methodology of Compilation

    Users of Supply and Use Tables (SUT) and Input-Output Tables (IOT) compiled in different national accounts (NA) vintages face a problem of consistency of their data due to revisions in the NA. This paper describes the methodology that has been followed to compile a consistent time series of Belgian SUT and IOT for the period 1995-2007, in line with the NA published in November 2010.

    Working Paper 06-12 [24/05/2012]
  • Productivity gains and spillovers from offshoring

    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.

    Working Paper 05-11 [16/03/2011]
  • Tableaux Entrées-Sorties de la Belgique pour 2005
    Input-outputtabellen van België voor 2005

    Input-Output Table 2005 [Contributor - 20/05/2010]
  • La part de marché à l’exportation de la Belgique 1993-2008 : changements structurels et compétitivité

    Working Paper 06-10 [23/03/2010]
  • The impact of offshoring on employment in Belgium

    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.

    Working Paper 01-09 [23/01/2009]
  • Trade-based measures of offshoring: an overview for Belgium

    Offshoring has since long been a matter of concern in developed countries and has recently received growing attention in the economic literature. The aim of this paper is to provide a critical review of definitions of offshoring that have been put forward in recent years, thereby updating the definitions in earlier publications of the Federal Planning Bureau. We also take a closer look at how offshoring can be measured. In the absence of individual firm data, we focus on indirect trade-based measures of offshoring, compare them and present results for Belgium that show an upward trend in offshoring.

    Working Paper 09-08 [15/04/2008]
  • Potential ICT-enabled Offshoring of Service Jobs in Belgium

    The present paper follows up on the longstanding tradition of analysing trends in relocation or offshoring at the Federal Planning Bureau. Replicating and extending a method developed by the OECD, it provides a rough estimate for Belgium of the proportion of service jobs at risk of being offshored in the wake of information and communication technology (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.

    Article 2007051801 [18/05/2007]
  • Potential ICT-enabled Offshoring of Service Jobs in Belgium

    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.

    Working paper 06-07 [10/04/2007]
  • Growth and Productivity in Belgium

    The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and productivity evolution in Belgium between 1970 and 2004, based on a consistent data set. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain value added and labour productivity growth for total economy, manufacturing and market services. This decomposition exercise diverges from what has been applied in Belgium up to now, as it uses capital services flows rather than capital stock to measure the contribution of capital factor to production growth. Contributions of the main industries to value added, employment and productivitygrowth are also estimated.

    Working Paper 05-07 [16/03/2007]
  • Supply and Use Tables for Belgium 1995-2002 : Methodology of Compilation

    This paper presents the methodology for the compilation of a time series of supply and use tables for Belgium in current and constant prices for the period 1995-2002. These data have been produced at the Belgian Federal Planning Bureau within the framework of the EUKLEMS project and constitute an input for the project’s productivity database. The compilation of the time series was based on national accounts data and existing supply and use tables. The methodology consisted in splitting several industries and products, adapting existing data to the latest national accounts revisions, estimating missing tables as well as deflating current price supply and use tables.

    Working Paper 04-07 [05/03/2007]
  • Politique économique structurelle : l’agenda de Lisbonne
    Economisch structuurbeleid: de Lissabonagenda

    Planning Paper 101 [20/09/2006]
  • Déterminants de la localisation internationale, avec application aux secteurs Agoria
    Determinanten van internationale lokalisatie, met toepassing op de Agoriabranches

    Working Paper 16-05 [29/09/2005]
  • Trends in export market shares between 1991 and 2001 : An international comparison with a focus on the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the trends between 1991 and 2001 in the world export market shares of the bleu and a sample of other countries including among others the Member States of the European Union (eu). For this purpose, we apply Constant Market Shares Analysis (cmsa) to changes in the world export market shares of those countries for the subperiods 1991/1997 and 1997/2001.

    Working Paper 07-05 [27/04/2005]
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