The last five databases
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.
This article presents estimates of mark-ups in different industries within the Belgian market sector over the periods 1997-2008 and 2009-2020. The mark-up allows to evaluate the intensity of competition in a sector. Our results show that, on average, competition is weaker in services than in manufacturing. Within manufacturing, there is little variation across sectors and over time. Within services, mark-up variations are more pronounced.
Articles - Article 015 (fr), (nl),
Closed series - Planning paper 118 (fr), (nl),
This working paper analyses the economic impact of a regulated professional services reform in Belgium through simulations based on the European Commission’s DSGE model QUEST III R&D
Working Papers - Working Paper 09-18 (en),
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.
Closed series - Planning paper 116 (fr), (nl),
Closed series - Planning paper 115 (fr), (nl),
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 Papers - Working Paper 07-15 (nl),
The present document is the fourth biannual progress report in which the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) gives an account of the monitoring of the economic stimulus strategy announced by the Federal government in the summer of 2012.
This progress report gives an overview of the measures to follow up and reviews the progress of their implementation (situation on June 30, 2014).
Reports - OPREP201403 (fr), (nl),
The present document is the third biannual progress report in which the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) gives an account of the monitoring of the economic stimulus strategy announced by the Federal government in the summer of 2012.
This progress report gives an overview of the measures to follow up and reviews the progress of their implementation (situation on January 31, 2014). In addition, the report attempts to provide an analysis of those measures.
Reports - OPREP201401 (fr), (nl),
Closed series - Planning paper 114 (fr), (nl),
The present document is the second biannual progress report in which the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) gives an account of the monitoring of the economic stimulus strategy announced by the Federal government in the summer of 2012.
It offers an overview of the measures to follow up and reviews the progress of their implementation (situation on 30 June 2013). In addition, the report attempts to provide a first analysis of those measures. Through a number of selected indicators, it presents a numerical benchmark before implementation or, when possible, a first ex ante impact assessment.
Other publications - OPREP201302 (fr), (nl),
In July 2012, the federal government announced its economic stimulus strategy. The key objectives of the strategy include supporting the purchasing power of households, enhancing the economy’s competitiveness and creating more high-quality jobs.
The stimulus strategy introduced a follow-up and monitoring procedure which commissions the Federal Planning Bureau to report the government every six months on the procedure’s evolution and the efficiency of the measures taken in view of the strategy’s objectives. This first monitoring report presents the monitoring procedure, gives an overview of the measures to follow up (the scope) and reviews the progress of implementation of the measures (situation on 31 January 2013).
Reports - OPREP201301 (fr), (nl),
Food prices in Belgium are higher and rise faster than in its neighbouring countries. This can be verified from Eurostat databases, and has been noticed as part of the European Semesters. During the past few years, the phenomenon of price differntials has been studied at the Belgian and the international level. From these studies can be deduced that the causes are manifold, but that there are also factors that work out favourably in Belgium. Four factors that seem to be outstanding in Belgium: the small economic-geographic scale in combination with the bilingualism, wholesale prices, labour cost and the strategy of certain store chains.
Working Papers - Working Paper 13-12 (en), (nl),
Closed series - Planning Paper 110 (fr), (nl),
Competition is a complex and hard-to-measure phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is a central concept in the economy and should be adjusted in the event that its course appears to be problematic. This study aims at grasping the intensity and the evolution of competition in Belgium in relation to other EU Member States and is based on eight benchmarks, each of which measures one specific feature of competition. Approximately half of those benchmarks have evolved favourably over the past decade. That was also the case for other member states, as a result of which Belgium’s relative position in terms of competition did not improve. For Belgium, two crucial benchmarks displayed an unfavourable evolution: prices, which strongly increased with regard to other Member States, and, in their wake, price/cost margins.
Working Papers - Working Paper 13-11 (nl),
Working Papers - Working Paper 15-10 (nl),
The compliance costs of private taxpayers are not only affected by the tax law itself but also by its implementation through the tax authorities. In the following paper we analyze the effect of administrative actions on the compliance costs of private businesses. We demonstrate in a theoretical model that compliance costs may partially be interpreted as externalities of authority behavior. As a result we expect a "shifting" of administrative cost burdens from the tax administration to private taxpayers, what implies an economically inefficient outcome. Based on Belgian survey data, we find empirical evidence for the elucidated relationship. We give an quantitative estimate for the accordant effects and demonstrate, which activities of the administration are the most important cost drivers. Furthermore, we find empirical support that the effect of administrative issues is independent from the impact of the tax law itself.
Working Papers - Working Paper 09-10 (en),
The aim of this paper is to describe product market competition in the Belgian economy for the period 1997-2004 and to illustrate some causality with market regulation. The analysis is held at the industry level, for selected manufacturing and services industries. Emphasis is given to the profit elasticity (PE) measurement of competition (the "Boone" indicator) and the average profitability (AP) indicator (an approximation of the mark-up indicator). We applied the OECD Regimpact indicator as a proxy for regulation. We present some stylized facts, for Belgium in comparison with selected EU countries; and through an econometric exercise we illustrate the potential of regulation as an explanatory variable for competition.
Working Papers - Working Paper 03-10 (en),
Closed series - Planning Paper 108 (fr), (nl),
By the end of 2009, all Member States of the EU must have transposed the Services directive into national law. This will constitute a major step forward in the completion of the legal framework for the internal market, but its economic impact is expected to be relatively small. It may lead to double-digit export growth for certain services branches. The small scale of these exports, however, gives rise to a weak impact on turnover, value added and employment.
Articles - Article 2009122101
Other publications - BOOK_09_01 (fr), (nl),
Closed series - Planning Paper 103 (fr), (nl),
The Lisbon Strategy has been launched by the European Council to promote long-term economic growth under the conditions of sufficient social and environmental protection. It builds on three pillars: the macroeconomic, the microeconomic and the labour market pillar. In this planning paper the microeconomic pillar and its implementation in Belgium is reviewed. The paper consists of four chapters, each covering a specific theme that concerns the microeconomic pillar.
Articles - Article 2006121801
Two Working Papers on the macroeconomic impact of network industry reform have been published. The first is a detailed report in Dutch, the second a summary paper in English. The analysis builds on a simulation by FPB’s macroeconometric model HERMES, and a simulation by IMF’s general equilibrium model GEM. Although both simulations were based on the same exogenous input, they gave significantly different outcomes. This sheds light on the applicability of different modelling approaches to an issue at hand.
Articles - Working Paper 08-06 / 10-06
In network industries the market reform that is being pursued by national and supranational authorities should lead to an improvement of efficiency, which spills over into a beneficial macroeconomic impact. This paper presents two alternative simulations of the potential impact in Belgium. These simulations give very different outcomes, but are still complementary. A macroeconometric approach seems to be more realistic in the short and mid term because it has been built up from observed behavioural relationships. A general-equilibrium approach gives rise to drawing some lessons about the conditions that make the impact more pronounced in the long term.
Working Papers - Working Paper 10-06 (en),
Closed series - Planning Paper 101 (fr), (nl),