The Belgian production network 2002‑2012

Working Paper N° 288

Classification JEL: 


This paper presents the Belgian inter-firm network for the years 2002 to 2012. Combining raw data from VAT listings, VAT declarations and annual accounts information, we build a unique and consistent database containing values of transactions between enterprises in the Belgian economy. The dataset spans Primary Industries, Manufacturing, Utilities, Market Services and Non-Market Services. This dataset, unparalleled in coverage at the firm-to-firm level and its panel dimension, allows one to analyze a broad spectrum of research questions in industrial organization, international trade, network theory etc. As a simple example of the potential of this dataset, we evaluate the position of enterprises in the Belgian network, their distance to final demand and their relationship with exports and imports. The degree of upstreamness, defined as a weighted distance to final demand, of the average enterprise is 1.6, ranging between 1 and 9.5. While only 5 % of enterprises export, 82 % of the enterprises in the Belgian network are producing goods and services that are either directly or indirectly exported after transformation or use. On the ip side, only 9 % of enterprises are importers but 99 % of firms are either importers or have importers in their supply chain and therefore consume imported inputs indirectly. However, we find large inter- and intra-sectoral as well as inter-regional heterogeneity in enterprise positions in the Belgian production network.