OECD recommendations

The decline in labour productivity growth has been pronounced. Promoting ICT industries, improving regulation in network industries, reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and raising skills could strengthen productivity growth and make growth more inclusive.

  • Streamline the complicated regulatory structure of network industries by establishing single regulators for each network industry
  • Simplify universal service obligations, including competitive tendering and government financing.
  • Loosen competition-inhibiting regulations regarding large retail outlets, opening hours and sales.
  • Make regulation of professional services less onerous. 
  • Streamline public support for R&D innovation within each region.
  • Improve ICT skills through tertiary and adult education and training. 




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Productivity - Belgium


Source: OECD May 2017 Economic Outlook database


 Key publications

Dumont, M. and Kegels, C. (2016), Young Firms and Industry Dynamics in Belgium, Federal Planning Bureau Working Paper 6-16, June 2016.

National Bank of Belgium (2016), Chapter 5 Raising the Growth Potential and Resilience of the Economy, Chapter 5 of the NBB's annual report 2015 (Feb. 2016).

Forlani E., Martin R., Mion G., Muüls M. (2016), Unraveling firms: Demand, productivity and markups heterogeneity, NBB Working Paper 293, Feb 2016.

De Mulder J., Duprez C. (2015), Has the reorganisation of global production radically changed demand for labour? , NBB Economic Review, Dec 2015.

Biatour B. and Kegels C. (2015) Labour productivity growth in Belgium - Long-term trend decline and possible actionsFederal Planning Bureau working paper 6-15.

Dhyne E., Fuss C. (2014): Main lessons of the NBB’s 2014 conference on “Total factor productivity : measurement, determinants and effects", NBB Economic Review, Dec 2014.

Dumont M. (2011), A decomposition of industry-level productivity growth in Belgium using firm-level dataFederal Planning Bureau working paper 11-11.

Michel, B. K., (2011) Productivity gains and spillovers from offshoringFederal Planning Bureau working paper 5-11. 

Biatour B, Dumont M., and Kiegel C. (2011), The determinants of industry-level total factor productivity in BelgiumFederal Planning Bureau working paper 7-11.

PWC (2015), Key Human Capital trends in Belgium.

Institutions icon Productivity - enhancing institutions

The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) publishes on a regular basis research papers on productivity and organised in 2014 a conference on Productivity. The NBBs annual report typically contains a discussion of the structural challenges faced by the Belgian economy, including the low growth of productivity.

The Federal Planning Bureau (FPB) is a public agency which makes studies on economic, social and environmental policy issues and on their integration within the context of sustainable development. This institution is responsible for the Belgian part of the EUKLEMS database. Several papers on productivity issues have been published (see above). 

The Federal Public Services of Economy (Ministry of Economy) (Service Publique Fédéral Economie) is also interested in productivity issues.

The Central Economic Council, set up in September 1948, looks notably at competitiveness issues, productivity gains, unit labour cost development. Its role consists in promoting the attainment of this socioeconomic compromise, by recommending to the government the economic policy measures which, in its opinion, are the best way of achieving this objective.   


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