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.
Capital stock, available in the national accounts, provides information on the value at a given time of the assets accumulated in the economy. It is composed of different fixed assets and comes from the investment made by the different economic agents.
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What progress has Belgium made towards sustainable development? The assessment of 51 indicators for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN shows that on current trends, few SDGs will be achieved by 2030. New policies will therefore be needed to achieve all these goals. These conclusions remain unchanged from those drawn in the ten assessments conducted since 2005.
Articles - Article 010 (fr), (nl),
While automated car driving may bring important benefits in terms of traffic safety, we should not be blind to other effects: full automation is likely to lead to increases in car traffic, mostly for transport that is not related to commuting. This is likely lead to further reductions in road speed in the areas that already suffer the most from the congestion.
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A policy mix of “stick” measures (generalised distance based road charge) and “carrot” measures (supporting carpooling) could induce an increase in the occupation rate of cars in Belgium from 1.44 to 1.50. This relatively modest increase can be explained by the relatively small share of trips for which an increase in the occupation rate is a realistic option, and by the inconveniences linked to the organisation of carpooling. Nevertheless, this policy mix can induce a notable improvement in the traffic situation during the peak periods in the regions that currently suffer the most from congestion.
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Society will rather have to adapt to population ageing.
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Articles - Article 20171121
This paper presents a shift-share decomposition applied to industry-level data to identify contributions to the rise in the hourly wage cost in Belgium between 2000 and 2010. According to the results, individual wage increases account for the largest part of the economy- wide hourly wage cost increase (87%). The contribution of changes in the gender, age and skill structure of industry-level employment amounts to 16%, while changes in the industry composition of hours worked even have a negative effect on the hourly wage cost (-3%).
Articles - Article STU 01-15 : WP 01-15
In a previous Special Topic (see STU 4-11), we examined the performance of Belgian GDP relative to its three main trading partners since the onset of the financial crisis. This time we put recent domestic demand patterns into perspective by comparing, over a longer period, the evolution of private consumption and business investment in Belgium to those in France and Germany. In addition to the purely descriptive analysis, we also try to identify, through the estimation of co-integrating equations, the underlying factors behind the developments of both demand components under scrutiny. We investigate in particular two sub-periods: the decade preceding the financial crisis (1998-2007) and the following five years (2008-2012).
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : SPECTOP
This Working Paper presents the methodology the Federal Planning Bureau has currently developed to draw up long-term Belgian household projections. This methodology allows detailed projections of the number of households (at the district level) by household type according to living arrangements and not legal situation. Thus, the projections include the different forms of living arrangements, such as cohabitation, single-parent families, single households ("one person"), etc. They also guarantee coherence with the national population projections, which have been published by the Federal Planning Bureau and Statistics Belgium for several years and are based on the so-called component method.
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : WP 09-14
This Working Paper assesses the impact of public support for R&D activities on the educational mix of R&D employees in private companies in Belgium. Estimations show that some tax incentives significantly raise the share of researchers holding a PhD. There are indications that holders of PhDs substitute for R&D employees with a lower education degree. It is also shown that controlling for changes in the educational mix of R&D personnel lowers estimates of the impact of public support on the average wages of researchers.
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : WP 08-14
Energy holds an important place in our economies. It is a production factor for the manufacturing industry as well as a key element in our everyday life. It is essential to evaluate a country’s energy dependence and its potential vulnerability to energy supply disruptions or energy price shocks because this may translate into losses in competitiveness and growth. For a country like Belgium, this type of evaluation is even more crucial because the Belgian ground does not contain any indigenous fossil fuel resource, the potential of renewable energy sources is relatively limited and nuclear energy is being phased out. In order to assess Member States’ energy dependence, the European Commission designed a set of energy dependence indicators and looked at their evolution over recent years. Looking at the past is relevant and interesting but appraising future trends brings an extra dimension to the issue. This is all the more so since the EU has set ambitious energy and climate policies, which call for significant structural changes in the energy system. The recent FPB publication Belgium Energy Trends to 2050 provides the material to compare and gauge past and future trends of some energy dependence indicators. The results of this side analysis are summarised below.
Articles - Article STU 03-14 : SPECTOP
This study was commissioned by the Central Economic Council (CEC), and in particular by the ‘Construction’ Special Advisory Commission. It presents the sectoral results of a report that was produced in 2011 by the National Bank of Belgium and the Federal Planning Bureau. As requested by the CEC, we comment here in detail on the impact of a VAT increase without additional measures, (variant 1) and the impact of a VAT increase with transitional neutralization of the effect of that increase on indexation (variant 2).
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : WP 04-14
The power landscape is growing ever more complex due to, among other things, legislation and targets defined at several levels which tend to influence (and sometimes contradict) one another. One can wonder if the different economic agents can still see the wood for the trees and if the lights will stay on all the time. The first in line to worry is the federal government, since it carries the responsibility of permanently guaranteeing the security of supply. In times of increased electricity production by variable energy sources 1 (solar PV, wind) and of distorted investment signals, how to guarantee security of supply is not obvious. The absence of investment in sufficient reserve capacity and – in the worst case scenario – inadequacy of generation capacity may lead to soaring societal costs. This Working Paper focuses on the specific event of things going wrong in spite of all initiatives and mechanisms put in place: a national blackout paralyzing the entire Belgian economy for one hour and its price tag are scrutinised.
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : WP 03-14
This Working Paper describes the new version of MODTRIM II, the quarterly macroeconomic model developed at the FPB for short-term forecasting. The FPB’s short-term macroeconomic forecasts are published three times a year and are usually referred to as the “economic budget”, as they are used by the Belgian federal government to set up its budget and to perform budgetary control exercises. While the model has retained the same overall architecture and underlying structure since the early 1990s, the main differences relative to the 2003 version, described in Working Paper 6-03, are highlighted.
Articles - Article STU 04-14 : WP 05-14
The worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing economic slowdown exposed substantial imbalances within the Eurozone. As a result, national competitiveness appeared high on the agenda of EU policy makers, e.g. the Europe 2020 Strategy. The definition of competitiveness is a subject of much debate, but productivity is generally acknowledged as an important indicator of the ability of countries to create value added. Productivity is often computed at a rather aggregated level (industries, regions or countries) under the assumption that industries are composed of fairly homogenous firms. Firm-level data, however, reveal dramatic and persistent differences in productivity between firms within the same industry. In this article, we argue that firm-level data give insight in intra-industry dynamics that is beyond the scope of analysis at a more aggregated level.
Articles - Article STU1401_01
This Planning Paper explores the usefulness and the need for long-term visions of society's development to guide the achievement of a sustainable society. Such a future society is able to combine material wealth improvements with social equity and justice and to limit its environmental impact to a level within the Earth's self-recovery capabilities. Government initiatives already taken in several industrialized countries to help respond to this need are reviewed. This review covers different levels of governance, from the sub-national to the global level, with a particular focus on the Belgian Federal Sustainable Development (SD) strategy adopted in a Parliamentary Act of 1997. It analyses in particular the content and the follow-up of the 2010 revision of this Act, which has introduced a long-term vision for Sustainable Development in this strategy.
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