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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.

Benoît Laine

Benoît Laine holds a master’s degree in econometrics (Université de Toulouse I&III, 1999) and a postgraduate degree in economy and statistics (ULB and Université de Toulouse I&III, 2000).

He gained his professional experience in four stages. From 2000 to 2004, he was a teaching assistant at the mathematics department of the ULB, where he combined teaching (statistics, econometrics and mathematics), research (statistical methods) and consultancy (statistical advice). From 2004 to 2006, he worked for AXA Belgium in the Corporate actuarial unit. From 2006 to 2008, he worked for the Fortis Group in the Risk Performance department. Finally, from 2008 to 2015, he was responsible for the “Methods and Statistics” unit of the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis. As such, he actively participated, on behalf of the Brussels-Capital Region, in the development of the HERMES model.

At the FPB, Benoît Laine is in charge of analysing the determinants of  long-term transport demand and the characteristics of people movements, with a specific focus on home-work trips.




  • Energy and transport
  • 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]
  • Drivers of wholesale electricity prices in a small, open economy - Some evidence from the nuclear restart in Belgium

    In this paper, the impact of a nuclear downtime and subsequent restart on wholesale electricity prices on the Belgian power exchange is investigated by means of a dual methodology. First, publicly available market data is used to construct a stable statistical model that is deployed to examine the effect of nuclear power generation variations on market price outcomes. Quantifying this phenomenon, also called the merit-order effect, with the aid of econometric methods translates into an esti-mated price decrease of around 10 €/MWh for a nuclear capacity hike of 2.5 GW. The importance and impact of the openness of the Belgian market, that is, its strong reliance on cross-border energy exchanges is highlighted. Next to this empirical evidence, the optimisation tool Crystal Super Grid is used to assess the impact of the resumed availability of the nuclear reactors on several indicators characterising the Belgian and European power landscape. A positive effect on overall welfare, consumer surplus and CO2 emissions can be noticed. As regards prices, this analysis confirms the negative merit-order effect which is calculated to equal, on average over a year, 3.8 €/MWh. Nevertheless, temporary hourly excesses of 30 €/MWh can occur. The paper then describes the possible causes of divergence between the two approaches.

    Our findings have important policy implications as they demonstrate the need to take the downward influence of prolonged nuclear power generation on wholesale prices into consideration when revising the (timetable in the) nuclear phase-out law since it may have a delaying effect on the compulsory energy transition towards a low-carbon economy.

    Working Paper 09-16 [12/10/2016]
  • 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]
  • Perspectives économiques régionales 2012-2017
    Regionale economische vooruitzichten 2012-2017

    OPHERMREG1201 [16/07/2012]
  • Regionale economische vooruitzichten 2010-2016
    Perspectives économiques régionales 2010-2016

    OPHERMREG1101 [22/06/2011]
  • Perspectives économiques régionales 2009-2015
    Regionale economische vooruitzichten 2009-2015

    OPHERMREG1001 [09/07/2010]
  • Perspectives économiques régionales 2008-2014
    Regionale economische vooruitzichten 2008-2014

    OPHERMREG0901 [05/07/2009]
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