Improving economic opportunities for all in Belgium

Income inequality is low in Belgium, and intergenerational income mobility is on par with the average OECD economy. However, as in other OECD countries, there is scope to improve equal access to opportunities across the population. Poverty risks are high for the unemployed and the low-skilled. Vulnerable socio-demographics, in particular the low educated, single mothers and people with a migrant background and with disabilities have persistently low incomes. Moreover, low-income households are overburdened by housing costs. To foster upward income mobility, employment should be increased among vulnerable groups by enhancing skills through life-long learning, effective career guidance and continuing to strengthen work incentives. To prevent the transmission of disadvantages across generations, social segregation in compulsory education should be addressed, in particular through better-designed school choice policies, higher mobility between general and vocational tracks, and stronger incentives and training for teachers. Promoting quality and affordable housing is also necessary to reduce spatial segregation and mitigate barriers to opportunity.

Published on July 18, 2022

In series:OECD Economics Department Working Papersview more titles