Short-Term Effects of the Öresund Bridge on Crossborder Interaction and Spatial Behavior
The Öresund Bridge between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden was opened July 1, 2000. It can hardly be expected that an infrastructure project of this type between two urban regions in two countries can provide any pronounced growth effects in the short term. On the other hand, it can be expected that, in certain areas, interaction will increase and interaction patterns will change relatively rapidly. The aim of this paper is therefore to study the short-term effects of the Öresund Bridge on a field where interaction can be expected to change relatively rapidly, namely shopping visits and tourism. The results show that the number of travelers over Öresund has increased, but not up to the levels expected. By far, the largest crossborder shopping commodities are the cheaper beer and wine bought by Swedes in Denmark. Harmonization of the alcohol taxes between the two countries would therefore probably provide an incentive for a reduction in border shopping.
Most of the cost-sensitive shoppers still choose to travel over Öresund by boat. Persons traveling on business and commuters choose the more expensive bridge to a greater extent. There are still some political-administrative obstacles that have negative effects for those persons who live on one side of Öresund and work on the other. However, the cultural differences between Sweden and Denmark, which has been built up during centuries, may constitute a longterm obstacle to the realization of the political aim of creating a wholly integrated Öresund region.
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