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.
This working paper gives an overview of the Modtrim team’s recent research in the field of Belgian exports and export markets. In the first chapter a new leading indicator is introduced as a supplementary tool to determine a growth profile for Belgium’s potential export markets in the first quarters of the forecasting period. In the second chapter, an attempt is made to improve forecasts of Belgium’s exports by breaking down the model equation into a goods and a services component. Finally, the third chapter reveals that (a lack of) competitiveness is probably not the only reason for the losses of export market share in Belgium and in some of its main trading partners in the past 25 years.