Labor Economics


Vincent Bodart, Muriel Dejemeppe, Bruno Van der Linden

Research Projects

Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
BELSPO-BRAIN The Belgian Short-time Work scheme: Economic and Psychological Impacts Muriel Dejemeppe   March 2021 2025

Project description

This research studies the impact of the Belgian short-time work (STW) compensation scheme (knownas “temporary unemployment” in Belgium) on economic and psychological outcomes in the short and longer term. STW is a policy instrument installed at the federal levelto avoid the costly process of separation and re-hiring during the temporary reduction in production and demand and may thereby also avoid the bankruptcy of firms. From the employees’ perspective it avoids the social cost of unemployment and reintegration into the labour market. STW has had particular resonance during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the peak of the lockdown in April 2020, as many as 1.167 million people -about 30% of eligible employees -benefited from a Corona version of STW for at least one day. As highlighted in the Call for proposal, it is of high policy relevance to investigate the short-and medium term consequencesof STW on the labour market given the substantial public expenditure implications. Future reforms of the policyneed to build on sound scientific evidenceof the factors for success of STW arrangements as responseto cyclical fluctuations.Before completing, please read carefully the Information File Call 2020-2021, the Submission and Evaluation Guidelinesand the Budget rules.Do not forget to use the Gender Checklistto take into accountall the gender aspects throughout the proposal.BRAIN-BE 2.0 -Call for proposals 2020-20212/42The proposal will mobilize two disciplines(economics and psychology). We will look at similar research questions, yet from a different angle, with the focus in psychological research being how STW is appraised rather than intended or implemented. The research will imply cooperationbetween research partners of different communities and universities in Belgium. The team is well balanced in terms of gender and expertise. The economists Bart Cockx (UGent) and Muriel Dejemeppe (UCLouvain) are renown experts in the field of the evaluation of labour market policies. The psychologists Nele De Cuyper and Hans De Witte (KULeuven) and Florence Stinglhamber (UCLouvain) are renown experts in different disciplines of work and organisational psychology, including occupational health psychology, personnel psychology and career research. Beyond mobilizing two scientific disciplines to analyse the efficiency of STW arrangements, the project will address some specific research questions through a mixed methods study. In particular, to investigate the effect of the Corona STW scheme on the career prospects of the targeted employees from a broad perspective, both micro-econometric evaluation methods using register files and longitudinal cross-lagged surveys will be implemented. Their results will be thoroughly compared and discussed.

More info

Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
Banque nationale

Scrapping benefits for youth: Does it brings jobs or just misery

Bruno Van der Linden and Muriel Dejemeppe   2017 2021

Project description

This project studies the impact of the prospect of a loss of eligibility to UI benefits on the transition to employment and some other destinations of young unemployed individuals. Measuring the impact on schooling decisions is also part of the research project. We exploit a policy change in Belgium that occurred in 2015, whereby some young school-leavers lost UI eligibility, while others did not, using a Difference-in-Difference and Triple difference approaches.

Sponsor Project Title IRES promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
IWEPS Labour Market Integration of Low-Skilled Youths in Wallonia: The Role of Information, Income Support and Hiring Subsidies Muriel Dejemeppe   2019 2023

Project description

This research seeks to evaluate, using microeconometric evaluation methods, the role of various and complementary support schemes for low- skilled youth integration on the labour market in Wallonia, a primarily French-speaking region in the southern part of Belgium. The set of schemes that are evaluated ranges from disseminating information in schools about job opportunities and labour market programmes for young school-leavers, hiring subsidies targeted at low-skilled unemployed youths, to financially support those who are long-term unemployed. The analysis is based on both a quasi-experimental approach (difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity design) applied to administrative individual data, and an experimental approach that randomizes information dissemination at the vocational high school level and allows to evaluate its effect on the labour market trajectories of young school-leavers.

Sponsor Project Title IRES promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
FNR The Effect of Schengen, the Euro and Local Labour Markets: A Causal Analysis on Cross-Border Workers in Europe Muriel Dejemeppe and Bruno van der Linden   2018 2021

Project description

This research programme studies the choice of becoming a cross-border worker. Natural experiments implemented in Europe are exploited. The rst work package assesses the impact of the Schengen agreement and the single currency on labour market outcomes of individuals living in the border regions of Europe. The second and third work packages assess the effect of local labour market conditions on cross-border employment. These packages focus on the Belgian- Luxembourgish border. They look at the consequences of the introduction of a Belgian hiring subsidy scheme targeted at low-educated young jobseekers and at the 2012 reform of the Belgian unemployment insurance.


Journal Articles

1. Cockx, Bart; Declercq, Koen; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Inga, Leda; Van der Linden, Bruno. Switching from an inclining to a zero-level unemployment benefit profile: Good for work incentives?. In: Labour Economics, Vol. 64, p. 10816 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101816.

2. Vandenberghe, Vincent. Health, Cognition and Work Capacity Beyond the Age of 50: International Evidence on the Extensive and Intensive Margin of Work. In: International Labour Review, (2020). doi:10.1111/ilr.12174 (Accepté/Sous presse).

3. Batyra, Anna; de la Croix, David; Pierrard, Olivier; Sneessens, Henri. Structural changes in the labor market and the rise of early retirement in France and Germany. In: German Economic Review, Vol. 20, no. 4, p. e38-e69 (2019). doi:10.1111/geer.12150.

4. Mesén Vargas, Juliana; Van der Linden, Bruno. Why Cash Transfer Programs Can Both Stimulate and Slow Down Job Finding. In: IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 8, no.1, p. 1-27 (2019). doi:10.2478/izajole-2019-0005.

5. Bodart, Vincent; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Fontenay, Sébastien. Évolution de l’emploi en Belgique : tentons d’y voir plus clair. In: Regards économiques, , no.146, p. 1-11 (2019). doi:10.14428/regardseco/2019.05.02.01.

6. Vandenberghe, Vincent. The Contribution of Educated Workers to Firms’ Efficiency Gains: The Key Role of Proximity to the ‘Local’ Frontier. In: De Economist, Vol. 166, no.3, p. 259-283 (2018). doi:10.1007/s10645-018-9322-2.

7. Bodart, Vincent; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Van der Linden, Bruno. The Labor Market in Belgium, 2000-2016. In: IZA World of Labor, , no.484, p. 1-12 (2018). doi:10.15185/izawol.428.

8. COCKX, Bart; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Launov, Andrey; Van der Linden, Bruno. Imperfect Monitoring of Job Search: Structural Estimation and Policy Design. In: Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 36, no. 1, p. 75-120 (2018). doi:10.1086/693868.

9. Bourgain, Arnaud; Metha, Kirti; Shadman Valavi, Fatemeh; Sneessens, Henri. Formation des salaires en Belgique : interactions sectorielles et performances macroéconomiques. In: Regards économiques, , no.141, p. 1-15 (2018).

10. DELMEZ, Françoise; Vandenberghe, Vincent. Long Working Hours Make Us Less Productive but Also Less Costly. In: Labour : review of labour economics and industrial relations, Vol. 32, no. 4, p. 259-287 (December 2018). doi:10.1111/labr.12128.

11. Declercq, Koen; Verboven, Franck. Enrollment and degree completion in higher education without admission standards. In: Economics of Education Review, Vol. 66, p. 223-244 (2018). doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.08.008.

12. COCKX, Bart; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Van der Linden, Bruno. Werk voor ouderen in België: werkt het beleid ?. In: Over.Werk, no. 1, p. 99-107 (2017).

13. Vandenberghe, Vincent. The productivity challenge. What to expect from better-quality labour and capital inputs?. In: Applied Economics, Vol. 49, no.40, p. 4013-4025 (2017). doi:10.1080/00036846.2016.1273504.

14. Marchiori, Luca; Pierrard, Olivier; Sneessens, Henri. The EU-US Unemployment Puzzle Revisited : Institutions, Demography, and Capital Flows. In: Journal of Demographic Economics, Vol. 83, no.3, p. 259-305 (2017). doi:10.1017/dem.2017.13.

15. Dejemeppe, Muriel; Van der Linden, Bruno. "Le chômage au plus bas depuis 1992" : remettons les pendules à l'heure. In: Regards économiques, no. 123 (2016), p. 1-5 (2016).

16. Dejemeppe, Muriel; Van der Linden, Bruno. Réduire le coût du travail. Oui mais comment ?. In: Dynamiques régionales, no. 3, p. 15-28.

17. Lehmann, Etienne; Montero Ledezma, Paola Liliana; Van der Linden, Bruno. Workforce location and equilibrium unemployment in a duocentric economy with matching frictions. In: Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 91, p. 26-44 (January 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jue.2015.11.003.

18. Vandenberghe, Vincent. Is workforce diversity good for efficiency? An approach based on the degree of concavity of the technology. In: International Journal of Manpower : an interdisciplinary journal on human resources, management & labour economics, Vol. 37, no.2, p. 253-267 (2016). doi:10.1108/IJM-01-2015-0010.

19. Lehmann, Etienne; Lucifora, Claudio; Moriconi, Simone; Van der Linden, Bruno. Beyond the labour income tax wedge: the unemployment-reducing effect of tax progressivity. In: International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 23, no. 3, p. 454-489 (June 2016). doi:10.1007/s10797-015-9377-9.

20. Van der Linden, Bruno. Do in-work benefits work for low-skilled workers?. In: IZA World of Labor, , no.246, p. 1-10 (March 2016). doi:10.15185/izawol.246.

21. Vandenberghe, Vincent. Women Make a Fraction of Every Euro Earned by Men.. In: Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, Vol. LV, no.4, p. 11 - 22 (2014). doi:10.3917/rpve.554.0011.

22. Dejemeppe, Muriel; Smith, Catherine; Van der Linden, Bruno. Did the Intergenerational Solidarity Pact increase the employment rate of older workers in Belgium? A macro-econometric evaluation. In: IZA : Journal of Labor Policy, Vol. 4, no. 17, p. 1-23 (2015). doi:10.1186/s40173-015-0040-y.

Conference Papers

1. Cockx, Bart; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Inga, Leda. The Job Seekers Allowance for School-Leavers: The Effect of Tighter Eligibility Conditions. 2019 xxx.

Book Chapters

1. Declercq, Koen; Verboven, Frank. Uitdagingen vorr het hoger ondewijs. In: De (her)vormde school , SKRIBIS ITINERA, 2018, p. 207-248. 9789492944207. xxx xxx.

2. Declercq, Koen; Verboven, Frank. Les défis de l'enseignement supérieur. In: L'école du renouveau , SKRIBIS ITINERA, 2018, p. 207-248. 9789492944214. xxx xxx.

3. Sneessens, Henri. Growth and Welfare: Shifts in Labour Market Policies. In: After the Financial Crisis: Shifting Legal, Economic and Political Paradigms (Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology; xxx), Palgrave MacMillan: London, 2016, 139-172. 978-1-137-50954-3. xxx xxx. doi:10.1057/978-1-137-50956-7.

4. Van der Linden, Bruno. Pauvreté et évolution du marché du travail. In: Pauvreté en Belgique : Annuaire 2015 , Académia Press: Gand, 2015, p. 297-315. 978-90-382-2474-9. xxx xxx.

Working Papers

1. Bodart, Vincent; Jean-François Carpantier. Currency Crises In Emerging Countries: The Commodity Factor. 2021. 38 p. LIDAM Discussion Paper IRES/2021/03.

2. Ounnas, Alexandre. Worker Flows and Occupations in the CPS 1976-2010: A Framework for Adjusting the Data. 2020. 72 p. IRES Discussion papers 2020008.

3. Ounnas, Alexandre. Job Polarization and the Labor Market: A Worker Flow Analysis. 2020. 38 p. IRES Discussion papers 2020010.

4. Ounnas, Alexandre. Worker Flows, Occupations and the Dynamics of Unemployment and Labor Force Participation. 2020. 39 p. IRES Discussion papers 2020009.

5. Bart Cockx; Michael Lechner; Joost Bollens. Priority to unemployed immigrants? A causal machine learning evaluation of training in Belgium. 2020. 81 p. IRES Discussion Papers 2020016.

6. Amuli Ibale, Douglas. Earning structure and heterogeneity of the labor market: Evidence from DR Congo. 2020. 30 p. LIDAM Discussion Paper IRES/2020/37.

7. Cockx, Bart; Declercq, Koen; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Inga, Leda; Van der Linden, Bruno. Scrapping the entitlement to unemployment benefits for young labor market entrants : An effective way to get them to work ?. 2019. 34 p. Working Paper Research - National Bank of Belgium 379.


1. Vandenberghe, Vincent; Bughin, Jacques; Dhyne, Emmanuel; Jousten, Alain; Volral, Mélanie; van Zeebroeck, Nicolas. L'emploi et ses nouveaux défis: Vieillisement, digitalisation, migration &(dé)mondialisation : Actes du 23 congrès des économistes. Editions de l'Université Ouverte: Charleroi, 2019. 978-2-87306-154-8. 405 pages.


1. COCKX, Bart; Dejemeppe, Muriel; Van der Linden, Bruno; Albanese, Andrea; Ghirelli, Corinna; Smith, Catherine; Thuy, Yannick. Werk voor ouderen in België : Werkt het beleid ? = L'emploi des seniors en Belgique : Quelles politiques pour quels effets ?, xxx xxx. 2017. 104 p.