Our work method

CPB’s annual work plan describes the themes to be studied in the year ahead. CPB makes this determination on the basis of economic policy trends. Quality assurance is provided in several ways, which include the traditional academic checks & balances and CPB’s official independent position.

Independence
CPB needs to be able to conduct its research without any undesirable third-party interference. A Memo (in Dutch) about CPB’s independent position answers certain questions about this position, such as:

  • How is the independent position of CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis enshrined in legislation?  
  • Is CPB allowed to decide when and how to publish its results? 
  • Are government authorities, such as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, able to influence CPB’s Work Plan and/or the research methods used and scope of the subjects to be studied?

Quality assurance
At regular intervals, CPB invites external parties to conduct a critical assessment of its work. In addition, CPB has an independent advisory body: the Central Plan Committee (CPC), with members from both the world of science and the business community.
CPC members 2017–2021

Furthermore, every 3 to 5 years, an external audit committee assesses the level of CPB’s scientific quality and policy relevance. The CPC instigates these audits and appoints an audit committee. The most recent audit was held in 2016, the results of which can be found in the report ‘Noblesse oblige' (2016) by the audit committee that was led by Aart Jan de Geus.
Members of the current CPB Audit Committee

Reports on past audits

The most recent audit that focused solely on CPB’s scientific quality was conducted in January 2010. Its committee was led by Martin F. Hellwig and the results were published in the report 'Focusing on quality – Report from the CPB Review Committee 2010'. The most recent audit that looked only at policy aspects was conducted in 2013 and led by Professor J.M.G. Frijns. The conclusions from that audit were published in the report 'Uit de lengte of uit de breedte' (in Dutch).

For its projections, CPB uses models on the following subjects: 

  • Macroeconomic aspects
  • Taxes, social security and the labour market 
  • Population ageing and public finances
  • Purchasing power and labour costs
  • Cost-benefit analyses
  • Statistics

Publication formats
CPB research results are published online. Formats vary from reports and presentations to press releases and scientific papers. The current categories are:  

Current publications
All of CPB’s research results are available from www.cpb.nl. Publications dating back more than 8 years can be found by ticking the box ‘search the archives’. After a certain number of years, publications are filed under the 'CPB Historical Collection'. This collection contains publications from 1946 onwards that are not available from the general website.