Impact of Economic Land Prices on Business Productivity and Regional Economic Development in Wallonia

Room G
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00
Belgium, economic development, firm, industrial zone, level of economic development, price levels, territorial development, urban planning

In Wallonia, the availability of cheap industrial land is considered as an essential factor of economic development. In this region, economic activities are increasingly concentrated into economic estates, which increase tensions between developers and planners. Indeed, the creation and the extension of economic estates induce a high consumption of land, accentuating urban sprawl and urban decline.

Our research aims to clarify the relationship between industrial land – in terms of availability and prices – and economic development. Its central question is: to what extent the availability of cheap industrial land helps in the attraction of foreign companies in Wallonia as well as in the competitiveness of Walloon firms in the global markets?

The communication will be structured in three parts. The first two parts will present the context and conclusions about relationships between economic land consumption and regional development in Wallonia and in neighbouring regions. The third and main part will investigate the question of economic land prices, its impact on business productivity and consequently on regional development. This work develops a statistical analysis based on the annual account of companies. It focuses on mono-establishment companies localised in Walloon economic estates. Results show that real estate costs (land and property) vary depending on activity, size and location of companies. For example, logistics companies have the highest real estate costs: approximately 10% of their operational costs and 25% of their added-value; averages for all activities being 2.6% and 9.5%. To them, low prices undoubtedly help to keep their activities in Wallonia, in the heart of Europe.

Marie-Caroline Vandermeer
Université de Liège
MC.Vandermeer [at]
Jean-Marie Halleux

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