This study seeks to identify the reasons for non-take-up by employers. It uses a mixed methods research: we have first explored the issue through in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, then carried out a quantitative survey among employers and finally sought to enhance the survey results through interviews and focus groups. The interpretation of this phased approach has provided elements for making recommendations to reduce non-take-up.
The ‘first recruitments’ measure aims at supporting job creation in new and small firms through a reduction in employers' social security contributions. However, part of the eligible employers does not claim this reduction. Using administrative data from the National Social Security Office, we seek to quantify this phenomenon, which may bias the intended effect of the measure, and to identify profiles of non-take-up.
Between April 2013 and January 2015, youth sub-minimum wage rates were repealed in Belgium. We identify the impact of the reform by comparing outcomes before and after the withdrawal, across eligible and ineligible categories of young workers, and across abolishing and not abolishing joint committees. Our results show that the reform had a small positive impact on wages and on retention rates and a comparable but negative impact on accession rates.
This article presents a traditional shift-share decomposition to identify contributions of three effects on the rise in the hourly wage cost in Belgium: changes in the industry composition of total hours worked (composition effect), changes in the structure of employment in terms of categories of workers (employment structure effect), and increases in the hourly wage cost of these individual categories (wage effect).
This paper studies wage increases in Belgium over the period 2000-2010. It specifically aims to determine to which extent the evolution of the characteristics of the labour force (composition effects) has affected those increases. To this end, we analyse, both at the aggregate and disaggregated level, the average real wage increases in 28 industries using data from the Structure and Distribution of Earnings Survey. Together with data from the National Social Security Office, this survey offers detailed information on wages and on a large number of labour force characteristics. Our analysis is mainly based on the wage decomposition method introduced by Oaxaca (1973) and Blinder (1973).
Our results reveal substantial composition effects during the period under review, both at the aggregate level and within individual industries. Composition effects play a decisive role in the wage increases of white collar workers, but their contribution is on average negative and considerably smaller for blue collar workers. At the aggregate level, the increase in the average age of employees and in their education level and the growing number of certain better paid professional categories have contributed the most to the wage increases during that period. On the other hand, the sectoral distribution of employment, the expansion of part-time work and the higher participation rate of women in the labour market have, though to a lesser extent, brought about wage decreases.
This study aims to analyse the effects of the decentralization level of collective wage bargaining on the wage level and the wage dispersion in Belgium. For this purpose, we have constructed a composite indicator of collective bargaining decentralization, based on variables that determine collective bargaining. Our results indicate the presence of a significant wage bonus and wider wage disparity in industries where collective bargaining is decentralized. Furthermore, we compare these results with those that use as an indicator of bargaining decentralization, the presence of collective agreements at company level, a commonly used indicator in the literature. We notice that this latter indicator seems to underestimate the degree of bargaining decentralization and thus also its effects on the wage structure. One can explains this result by the fact that in Belgium, besides firm collective agreements, the bargaining system also provides mechanisms that enable firms to distance themselves from collective agreements set at industry level.
Increased international economic integration and skill-biased technological change are often regarded as the main drivers of the rising inequality in wages and employment witnessed in industrialized countries in recent decades as they are believed to emphasize differences between individuals in level of education. However, proponents of a task-based view of technological change and offshoring stress the evolving content of tasks as the major determinant of shifts in labour demand and argue that this does not necessarily imply a clear-cut match between the level of education and job opportunities. Belgian data from the Structure and Distribution of Earnings Survey for the period 1999-2004 suggest that the level of wages is significantly correlated with the level of education but wage growth is not. Occupation seems to explain a statistically significant part of the wage level as well as wage growth of workers. The analysis supports the view that the level of education provides less information than the occupation of workers in explaining changes in wages and employment. Overall, it appears that a policy that simply aims to increase the level of education of the active population is not warranted. In addition to the risk of over-education, such a policy is not likely to alleviate the mismatch which to some extent exists between the competencies required by employers and the competencies offered by workers and the unemployed.
The impact of the current personal income tax reform on wages, value added and production is assessed. When fully implemented and all feedback on the goods and factor markets is accounted for, the 2001 fiscal reform and the removal of the crisis surcharge tax will cut the personal income tax rate by 3.1 percentage points and the market-sector real wage by 1.7%-2.6%.