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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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Increasing the Employment Rate

This chapter discusses ways of increasing the low employment rates among older workers and youngsters and lowering the high structural unemployment rate, which account for most of Belgium’s labour under-utilisation. While generous routes to early retirement built into the social security and tax systems (unlimited duration of unemployment benefits, pre-pensions; “Canada Dry” arrangements; early legal pension; generous time-credit schemes) depress labour supply of the elderly, the growing disconnection between wages and productivity due to seniority-based pay scales and low participation in training and life-long learning hampers labour...

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