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Publications

To promote transparency and provide information, the Federal Planning Bureau regularly publishes the methods and results of its works. The publications are organised in different series, such as Outlooks, Working Papers and Planning Papers. Some reports can be consulted here, along with the Short Term Update newsletters that were published until 2015. You can search our publications by theme, publication type, author and year.

Documents (148)

2019

  • L’industrie pharmaceutique en Belgique - Analyse de compétitivité 30/04/2019

    This Working Paper analyses the competitive position of the pharmaceutical industry over the 2000-2017 period. The evolution of price/cost competitiveness and non-cost competitiveness is studied based on a comparison with our neighbouring countries France, the Netherlands and Germany, and with Denmark, Ireland, Slovenia and Switzerland. The study also analyses a series of global factors and factors specific to the pharmaceutical industry that may influence competitiveness.

    Working Paper 05-19  Publication(fr),

  • Tax incentives for business R&D in Belgium - Third evaluation 29/04/2019

    Belgium has committed to raise investment in research and development (R&D) to 3% of GDP by 2020. In fulfilment of this commitment, the federal government introduced different tax incentives in support of business R&D. This paper presents the results of the third evaluation of the efficiency of these tax incentives, covering the period 2003-2015.

    Working Paper 04-19  Publication(en),

2018

  • Value chain integration of export-oriented and domestic market manufacturing firms - An analysis based on a heterogeneous input-output table for Belgium 26/09/2018

    For a finer analysis of competitiveness and value chain integration, this working paper presents a micro-data based breakdown of manufacturing industries in the 2010 Belgian supply-and-use and input-output tables into export-oriented and domestic market firms. The former are defined as those firms that export at least 25% of their turnover. Analyses based on the resulting export-heterogeneous IOT reveal differences between the two in terms of input structures and import behaviour: export-oriented manufacturers have lower value-added in output shares, and they import proportionally more of the intermediates they use. Moreover, exports of export-oriented manufacturers generate a substantial amount of value added in other Belgian firms, in particular providers of services. The policy implication of these results is that Belgium’s external competitiveness depends not only on exporters but also on firms that mainly serve the domestic market. To maximise the impact of export promotion in terms of domestically generated value added, the entire value chain for the production of exports must be taken into account.

    Working Paper 11-18  Publication(en),

  • Les charges administratives en Belgique pour l’année 2016
    De administratieve lasten in België voor het jaar 2016 22/03/2018

    At the request of the Ministerial Council and in collaboration with the Agency for Administrative Simplification (AAS), the Federal Planning Bureau carries out an estimate every two years of the administrative burdens for firms and self-employed in Belgium. This estimate is based on a survey of a representative sample of firms and self-employed. In addition to the quantitative part, the survey also includes an important qualitative part that shows how firms and self-employed view the problem of administrative burdens. This Planning Paper shows the results regarding the administrative burdens for 2016.

    Planning paper 116  Publication(fr), Publicatie(nl),

2017

  • Growth and Productivity in Belgium 17/10/2017

    The objective of the report is to provide an overview of the main drivers of economic growth and the productivity evolution in Belgium, in comparison with its three neighbouring countries and the US over 1970 and 2015. Recent evolutions, over 2000-2015, are analysed in details in order to shed light on the impact of the great recession. The growth accounting methodology is applied to explain labour productivity growth for the total economy, manufacturing and market services.

    Working Paper 11-17  Publication(en),

  • Belgium’s Carbon Footprint - Calculations based on a national accounts consistent global multi-regional input-output table 28/09/2017

    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  Publication(en),

  • Modelling unobserved heterogeneity in distribution - Finite mixtures of the Johnson family of distributions 31/08/2017

    This paper proposes a new model to account for unobserved heterogeneity in empirical modelling. The model extends the well-known Finite Mixture (or Latent Class) Model by using the Johnson family of distributions for the component densities. Due to the great variety of distributional shapes that can be assumed by the Johnson family, the method does not impose the usual a priori assumptions regarding the type of densities that are mixed.

    Working Paper 14-17  Publication(en),

  • Public Investment in Belgium - Current State and Economic Impact 26/01/2017

    Belgian government investment, and specifically the part spent on infrastructure, is relatively low both in historical terms and compared to neighbouring countries. A simulation with the European Commission’s Quest III model suggests that increasing government investment permanently by 0.5% of GDP leads to a growth in GDP, private consumption and private investment. The impact of alternative financing mechanisms is compared. Finally, a budget neutral shift of investment in favour of infrastructure is found to yield significant benefits in terms of GDP and its main components already in the medium run.

    Working Paper 01-17  Publication(en), Slideshow(en),

2016

  • Young Firms and Industry Dynamics in Belgium 24/06/2016

    Recent studies reveal the importance of entrants and young firms for job creation, productivity and economic growth. Some scholars argue that the falling rate at which new firms are established, can explain, to a certain extent, the productivity slowdown witnessed in most OECD countries. Belgium appears to stand out unfavourably from other countries in its very low start-up rate. This paper reviews the empirical cross-country evidence, provides some additional analysis of the role of young firms in industry-level employment and productivity dynamics in Belgium and concludes with a discussion of the implications for economic policy.

    Working Paper 06-16  Publication(en),

2015

  • De Belgische ICT in vogelvlucht - Economische betekenis en positionering t.o.v. de buurlanden 15/10/2015

    This study discusses the production and use of ICT in Belgium, and identifies its strengths and weaknesses in comparison with the neighbouring countries. It covers both ICT goods and services, noting that the production of services is almost seven times as high as the production of goods. In this study, the use of ICT is limited to their use as a production factor, but not as a consumption good. In the Belgian economy, ICT industries are characterized by their dynamism, with a high entry rate, a high labour productivity and a relatively strong profitability. Moreover, ICT services significantly contribute to foreign trade. ICT industries are closely linked with the Belgian economy. Compared to the neighbouring countries, however, ICT industries have a smaller share in the economy and a smaller share in the foreign trade of goods. Moreover, innovation in terms of patent applications is disappointing, and ICT capital has a relatively small and even diminishing contribution to economic growth. Within the Belgian ICT sector, telecommunications relatively stand out compared to the other ICT industries, with a relatively large share in the economy and services exports. They are the main user of ICT products, and can thus boost the development of ICT.

    Working Paper 07-15  Publicatie(nl),

  • Labour productivity growth in Belgium - Long-term trend decline and possible actions 02/10/2015

    The paper analyses the long-term trend of Belgian economic growth and the more recent evolution of labour productivity including the impact of the crisis. It identifies the causes of declining trend of productivity gains by analysing the structural changes in the economy and by applying the growth accounting methodology on industry-level data. Finally, possible policy actions are detailed which minimise the negative short term impact on aggregate demand while maximising the positive effect on labour productivity growth.

    Working Paper 06-15  Publication(en),

  • Evaluation of federal tax incentives for private R&D in Belgium: An update 25/06/2015

    This paper presents the results of a second evaluation of the tax incentives that were introduced – between 2005 and 2008 – by the Belgian federal government to support R&D activities of private companies. Compared with the first assessment, carried out in 2012, this evaluation extends the period considered by two years (2010 and 2011) and provides the results of a first assessment of the tax credit for investment in R&D and the tax deduction of 80% of qualifying gross patent income that were introduced in 2007. The second evaluation also elaborates on the difficulties of estimation procedures to establish the “causal” effect of public support and the importance to account for the strong persistence in firm-level R&D expenditures.

    Working Paper 05-15  Publication(en),

2014

  • Public support for R&D and the educational mix of R&D employees 30/10/2014

    In this paper we assess the impact of public support for R&D activities on the educational mix of R&D employees in private companies in Belgium, covering the period 2001-2009. Data on federal tax incentives in support of R&D activities are matched with R&D survey data to investigate changes in the share of R&D employees with a specific degree: PhDs; higher education (second stage and first stage respectively); and other qualifications. Estimations show that public support significantly
    raises the share of researchers holding a PhD. There are indications that PhDs substitute for R&D employees with a lower degree. We also show that controlling for the changes in the educational mix of R&D personnel lowers the estimates of the impact of public support on the average wages of researchers.

    Working Paper 08-14  Publication(en),

2013

  • Downstream Offshoring and Firm-level - Employment Evidence for Belgian Manufacturing Firms 16/12/2013

    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  Publication(en),

  • Is offshoring driven by air emissions? Testing the pollution haven effect for imports of intermediates 11/10/2013

    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  Publication(en),

  • Arbeidskosten, loonsubsidies, arbeidsproductiviteit en opleidingsinspanningen van ondernemingen
    Coût salarial, subventions salariales, productivité du travail et effort de formation des entreprises 19/07/2013

    Within the context of the economic stimulus plan adopted at the end of 2012, the government set up a group of experts from the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the High Council for Employment (HCE), the Directorate General Statistics and Economic Information (DGSEI), the Central Economic Council (CEC) and Eurostat. The group was charged with the following missions:

    • an impact analysis of subsidies which decrease labour costs in Belgium and in its three main neighbouring countries;
    • an analysis per industry of the differences in labour costs and productivity between Belgium and its three main neighbouring countries;
    • an objectification of  the training efforts by enterprises with regard to the 1.9 % objective set by law.

    To complete these missions, the group of experts has drawn up this two-part report. The first part (A) deals with productivity and labour costs and the second part (B) discusses training efforts by enterprises.

    GECE_EGCW_1301  Rapport - Verslag(mix),

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