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The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.

Labour market




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The FPB produces macroeconomic analyses and short-term and medium-term forecasts for Belgium on behalf of the federal government and the Central Economic Council. The labour market team focuses on wage cost, employment, labour supply, working time and commuting to work. It also conducts regional macroeconomic analyses jointly with or on behalf of the research departments of the regional authorities.

In addition it performs two types of microeconomic research. The effectiveness of federal and regional labour market policies is assessed ex post using microeconomic data. Second, the ex ante impact of welfare and tax policies reforms on labour supply, income and income distribution is assessed by means of microeconomic simulations.

Methods and tools

Macroeconomic analysis

  • Labour market modules feeding the macroeconomic models HERMES and HERMREG:
    • Fully integrated or out-of-model modules for working time, labour cost, employment allocation across labour categories at industry level, service-voucher employment (HERMES and HERMREG) and commuting to work (HERMREG);
    • An out-of-model sociodemographic module used for labour supply and replacement labour demand projections.
  • Data sources: detailed administrative labour market data (from the National Social Security Office, the National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed, and the National Employment Office) and Statbel’s labour force survey data.

Microeconomic analysis

  • Econometric research into employment programmes and labour cost policies including cluster, panel-data, difference-in-differences, duration, and regression-discontinuity-design analyses with control groups;
  • Econometric research into the impact of wages, tax and parafiscal policies on the supply of labour and the distribution of income using the model LASER. LASER is a discrete-choice model relying on the database of the model EXPEDITION.


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