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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.

Alex Van Steenbergen



  • Energy and transport

CV & Publicaties

  • Tax Expenditure and the Cost of Labour Taxation - An application to company car taxation

    The goal of this paper is to estimate the efficiency cost of one additional euro of revenue through the personal income tax system, considering its simultaneous effects on the labour market and the transport market. More precisely, we seek to derive estimates of the Marginal Excess Burden of marginal personal income tax rates in Belgium considering the subsidization of company cars. We find that taking into account of welfare losses in the transport market adds 5-7 cents to the welfare cost of an additional euro of tax revenue, compared to models that consider only the effects on the labour market. The cost of raising the top marginal tax rate rises by 28% to 58% depending on the model assumptions. As an aside, we estimate tax expenditure on the transport sector via the personal income tax system to be 1.9 billion euro. We conclude that there is scope for welfare improving by base broadening and rate cutting. The framework is applied to analyse the merits of cash-for-car proposals.

    Working Paper 07-17 [28/06/2017]
  • Commuting subsidies in Belgium - Implementation in the PLANET model

    This paper seeks to quantify the size and traffic effects of commuting subsidies in Belgium. To this end we implement the most recently available data on both the personal income tax treatment of commuting reimbursement and subsidies to rail commuters in the PLANET model. We find that subsidy rates by tend to differ strongly by mode and by type of reimbursement. Commuting by own car is generally subsidized at low levels, if it enjoys any subsidy at all. Commuting by company car, bike and public transport enjoy relatively high levels of subsidization. Policy simulations show the importance of commuting subsidies in steering the modal split. Both the exemptions for commuting reimbursements as well as subsidies for rail commuters moderately steer traffic away from private transport, while also lengthening the average commute.

    Working Paper 11-16 [28/10/2016]
  • The fiscal treatment of company cars in Belgium: effects on car demand, travel behaviour and external costs

    This paper seeks to understand how the current tax subsidy for the ownership and use of employer-provided cars influence behaviour by its recipients. We first seek to clarify how it affects the choice about cars, i.e. the number of cars a household owns, their engine size and their value. Second, we study the impact of the subsidy on the propensity to use a car for commuting and the number of kilometres driven for commuting and for other, private purposes. The analysis has been made on the basis of the BELDAM survey, a rich dataset on mobility behaviour in Belgium.

    Working Paper 03-16 [24/02/2016]
  • Fuel excise reform in Belgium - Long term effects on the environment, traffic and public finance

    This paper seeks to analyze the long term effects on traffic, environmental quality and public finance of the planned reform of fuel excise duties in Belgium. In the framework of a large scale tax reform, the Belgian federal government will implement an equalization of diesel and petrol excise rates over the 2016-2018 period.

    Working Paper 09-15 [08/12/2015]
  • Perspectives de l’évolution de la demande de transport en Belgique à l’horizon 2030
    Vooruitzichten van de transportvraag in België tegen 2030

    Within the framework of a cooperation agreement between the Federal Planning Bureau and the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport, the Federal Planning Bureau produces every three years long-term projections of transport demand in Belgium. This exercise, the third of its kind so far, is aimed at making a projection with no change in policy, indicating general long-term trends and allowing to identify elements on which transport policy should be based and to study the impact of transport policy measures.

    FORTRANSP_15 [Contributor - 08/12/2015]
  • A computable general equilibrium for Belgium with a special focus on transport policies

    This paper seeks to extend the PLANET model to allow for an endogenous influence of transport sector outcomes on the economy. To this end, we embed the PLANET data on freight and household transport for 2003 into a static CGE model of the Belgian economy. Households use transport for commuting and leisure transport, while production sectors use freight as an input. We allow for important feedback effects on generalized transport costs through congestion. To illustrate the model, we contrast the effects of a kilometre charge on freight only and a charge that targets household transport as well.

    Working Paper 12-11 [25/08/2011]
  • The PLANET model - Methodological Report: The Car Stock Module

    The vehicle stock module calculates the size and composition of the car stock. Its output is a full description of the car stock in every year, by vehicle type, age and (emission) technology of the vehicle. The vehicle stock is represented in the detail needed to compute transport emissions. The integration of the car stock module in PLANET will allow to better capture the impact of changes in fixed and variable taxes levied on cars. Among these impacts, the effect on the environment is of particular interest.

    Working Paper 02-10 [25/02/2010]
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