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2005 OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Belgium 2005
This survey of Belgium's economy takes a comprehensive look at the country's most pressing economic problem: population ageing.  After looking at the economic and budget consequences of ageing, the report examines a number of responses including putting public finances on a sustainable path, constraining health expenditure growth, increasing the employment rate, enhancing the economic impact of migration, raising achievement in secondary education, and increasing productivity growth.

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Assessment and Recommendations

Belgium’s population is ageing, albeit a little less quickly than the OECD average. Growing numbers of baby boomers will retire from around the end of the current decade. This will reduce economic growth mainly through lower growth in the labour supply and will put pressure on public finances for decades to come. While progress has been made in implementing policies to minimise the costs of this demographic shock, notably by a substantial reduction of public debt, the few years left before large numbers of baby boomers retire provide a window of opportunity to go further in implementing such policies and thereby preserving the essential elements of the system of social protection....

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