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.
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.
Articles - Article 20130530
The expected recovery of economic activity in Europe and Belgium is part of a downwardly-revised growth scenario
Articles - Article STU1302_02
The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is responsible, within the National Accounts Institute, for producing the economic budget, i.e. the macroeconomic forecasts used to establish the federal government budget and perform budgetary control exercises. In order to ensure transparency, ex post evaluations of the quality of these forecasts are undertaken at regular time intervals. In the latest assessment, the one-year-ahead forecast errors for economic growth in 2009 and, to a lesser extent, in 2010 appeared as outliers. In this article we analyse the
impact of world trade forecast errors on Belgian GDP forecasts.
Articles - Article STU1302_01
Articles - Article 20121127
Articles - Article 20120927
Articles - Article 20120614
The Federal Report on Sustainable Development 2011 has been published to implement the Belgian Act of 5 May 1997 on the Coordination of Federal Sustainable Development Policy. It is the sixth sustainable development report and the first since the 2010 revision of the act. That revision stipulates that a report has to be drawn up during each five-year cycle of the act and that it consists of a status and evaluation part and a foresight part. The 2011 report presents the status and evaluation part. It examines three aspects: sustainable development trends for the past twenty years based on indicators, the Belgian federal sustainable development strategy for 1997-2010, and a series of policy measures selected from the Federal Plan for Sustainable Development
Articles - Article 20120321
Articles - Article 20110324
The Federal Planning Bureau took part, in collaboration with the German institute DIW Berlin, in a technical assistance project financed by the European Commission aimed at developing different modelling approaches for the economy of Lesotho, a small country landlocked within the territory of South Africa. In the context of this project a macro-econometric model was elaborated. This Working Paper describes the main characteristics and the behavioural equations of this model and discusses a baseline simulation and an alternative scenario aimed at reducing up to 2012 the expected public deficit.
Articles - Article 2010110301
This study attempts to measure the impact of industry-level wage bargaining on individual wages in Belgium. The results indicate that industry wage bargaining increases decided collectively at the industry level are, on average, fully passed on to actual wages. Moreover, industry wage bargaining seems to coexist along with a wage drift affected by company size, the economic performance of the industry and labour market tensions.
Articles - Article 2009122103
This study is devoted to the analysis of the main effects on the Belgian economy, for the period 2010-2020, of various forms of tax-shifting aimed at increasing taxes on energy and, simultaneously, decreasing other forms of taxation. All these variants have been simulated using the FPB’s medium-term model for Belgian economy (HERMES).
Articles - Article 2009122102
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
The concepts of potential growth and the output gap are important tools, respectively, for assessing the supply- side capacity of an economy and evaluating the state of the business cycle. They have also become an essential ingredient of the European fiscal surveillance process. In this Working Paper we compare, in the context of the financial crisis, revisions of potential output for Belgium made recently by the Federal Planning Bureau and international organizations. Those comparisons aim at highlighting the uncertainty associated with those revisions as well as having a better understanding of some of the channels through which the crisis may reduce potential output.
Articles - Article 2009100606
This paper investigates the relationship between the relative positions, in terms of value added and relative prices, of Belgian manufacturing and market services in the European Union over 1970-2005. Relative prices are then broken down into relative unit costs of production factors. The analysis goes further by decomposing relative unit labour cost into relative hourly wages and relative productivity. Finally, relative productivity is broken down into relative capital deepening, relative labour
composition effect and relative total factor productivity.
Articles - Article 2009100605
Transport is a major source of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions and plays an important role in their evolution. Transport emissions are closely monitored and their future evolution is integrated into the FPB transport model, PLANET. The publication uses a decomposition analysis to compare the projected evolution of the emissions in the base scenario of the PLANET model to the base scenario of two other models and to put these in a historic perspective. The analysis focuses on Tank-to-Wheel emissions and is limited to three modes: road transport, railways and inland navigation.
Articles - Article 2009100604
Recent years have seen a growing interest in the economic potential of environmental protection activities. The protection of the environment necessitates the development, production and marketing of a host of environmentally friendly products and production processes, the development of the skills needed to use them, environmental legislation, an administration to keep track of these developments, etc. All these activities are provided for by the environment industry. This study investigates the development of the environment industry in Belgium between 1995 and 2005.
Articles - Article 2009100603
The publication of the fifth Federal Report on sustainable development implements the Belgian Act of 5 May 1997 on the Coordination of Federal Sustainable Development Policy. This Report contributes to the debate on the role and choice of indicators and objectives for measuring the development of a country and for the implementation of that strategic process. It studies a set of sustainable development indicators (SDI) that shows to what extent living conditions in Belgium are heading towards sustainable development strategic objectives (SDSO). The Report also studies these strategic objectives in the context of long term visions of society.
Articles - Article 2009100602
This special topic article describes three kinds of synthetic indicators complementing GDP: the Human Development Index, the Ecological Footprint with Biocapacity and, third, indicators based on Environmental Satellite Accounts. It shows that these indicators, among others, provide useful additional information on the human and environmental resource bases of development.
Articles - Article 2009100601
In the context of the European-funded sixth framework project, "Adequacy of Old-Age Income Maintenance in the EU (AIM)", a dynamic microsimulation model has been developed for Belgium, Germany and Italy. This model, called MIDAS, simulates future developments in the adequacy of pensions in Belgium, Italy and Germany, following wherever possible the projections and assumptions of the Ageing Working Group.
Articles - Article 2009030205
In order to prepare for the negotiations on the EU Energy and Climate Package (E/C Package), the Federal Planning Bureau was asked by the Belgian federal and regional authorities to conduct a study on the impact of the European Commission's proposal of January 2008. In the course of the study, various scenarios and sensitivity analyses were run. Next to a baseline, two main alternative scenarios were scrutinized: the 20/20 and 30/20 target scenarios, standing for an EU reduction of, respectively, 20% and 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the year 2020 compared to the level of 1990, and a mandatory 20% EU-wide share for renewable energy sources (RES) in Gross Final Energy Demand in 2020. The report then includes an analysis of the impact of both scenarios on the Belgian energy system and economy as well as on GHG emissions.
Articles - Article 2009030204
Worries about massive job losses have prompted a fast-growing literature on offshoring and its impact on employment in advanced economies. This paper examines the situation for Belgium. The offshoring intensity is computed as the share of imported intermediate inputs in output, based on a series of constant price supply- and-use tables for 1995-2003. Estimations of static and dynamic industry-level labour demand equations augmented by offshoring intensities, do not reveal a significant impact of either materials or business services offshoring on total employment for Belgium between 1995 and 2003, but this does not preclude a differential impact by skill-level.
Articles - Article 2009030203
This Working Paper evaluates the performance of the system of innovation in Wallonia for the most recent available period. Like the previous paper, this paper is based on the analysis of indicators reflecting the six main components of a system of innovation: knowledge development, human resources, valorisation of R&D, absorption capacity of innovation, entrepreneurship and innovation financing. A country's performance depends not only on the relative strength of each individual element but also on how effectively the components interact. These six components are evaluated from a European perspective: Wallonia is compared with European countries and European regions with similar socio-economic characteristics.
Articles - Article 2009030202
An efficient transport system is essential for the economic development of Belgium. Today it is clear that transport not only contributes positively to welfare, but also causes negative effects. Witness to this are the many traffic jams on the roads and the problems caused by air pollution. By sketching an image of what the future might bring, this Planning Paper aims to present elements that can support the formulation of transport policies. The time horizon of the study is 2030.
Articles - Article 2009030201
Articles - Article 2008102101