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Cross-Border Commuting in the Danish-German Border Region - Integration, Institutions and Cross-Border Interaction

Tanja Buch, Torben Dall Schmidt, Anne Katrin Niebuhr


Although the process of European integration has facilitated labour mobility in the EU to a considerable extent, cross-border commuting is still at a low level. We provide evidence on labour mobility in the Danish-German border region. The objective of this paper is to investigate the recent development of cross-border commuting in the region and whether this reflects increasing labour market integration. We relate the development to different theories on cross-border labour mobility. Our results suggest that much of the pronounced growth of cross-border commuting is caused by labour market disparities and a proceeding integration of labour markets on both sides of the border. However, an analysis of structural characteristics of cross-border commuters and their working places indicates that the cross-border labour market still has specific features. There are significant differences between cross-border commuters on both sides of the border with respect to income and main branches of employment. Moreover, the analysis points to a pronounced sectoral concentration of cross-border workers. Due to this "specialisation" there are distinct differences between the sectoral distribution of cross-border commuters and the corresponding structure of total employment in the region.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229