The Netherlands of 2040 develops four scenarios to increase our understanding of the long-term
economic future of the Netherlands.
This work builds on the shoulders of giants. Already in 1955, CPB published its first longrun study. Since this early study, the focus at CPB has been on building a number of scenarios
for policy analysis. Two landmark CPB scenario studies in this respect are Scanning the Future
(1992) and Four Futures of Europe (2003). They developed long-term scenarios for the world
economy based on trends and comparative advantage. The present work extends the tradition
with a focus on how the Dutch economy may be expected to perform in different scenarios.
The main question of the present study is: How will we earn our money in 2040? It is, of
course, impossible to give a correct answer to this question—because CPB is not an oracle to be
consulted for future predictions. Yet, a look at the future of production in the Netherlands as far
as 2040 is crucial. The traditional approach would be to “predict” what types of industries will
soar in the next couple of decades. The avenue chosen in this study is not related to industries,
however, but is concerned with location and people. So, earning money involves two crucial
ingredients: who is producing, and where does this take place?

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CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

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