Commuting Between Border Regions in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium: An Explanatory Model

L. Broersma, Arjen Edzes, Jouke Dijk van

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Border regions are often not very well connected to the national urban and economic centres and hence perform less well in terms of GDP per capita and unemployment. Cross-border commuting might be a way to improve the economic performance of border regions. This study explores the impact of a set of socio-economic, infrastructural or cultural explanatory variables that drive cross-border commuting in the Dutch-German-Belgium border regions for all outgoing commuters but also by gender, education and age. We found that cross-border commuting is a small-scale phenomenon, but the flows largely respond in the theoretically expected way to regional economic differences. Higher wages in the living region go together with lower cross-border outcommuting. More unemployment in the living region will make international outcommuting rise. Bordering regions with higher scores on the EU regional competitiveness index give lower international outcommuting. Quality of infrastructure does not show significant results. If the language on both sides of the border is the same, this gives more cross-border outcommuting. Males, medium educated and elderly workers show very similar outcomes as the model for all commuters, while cross border commuting of females and higher educates is hardly influenced by differences in the regional economic situation.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)551-573
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • labor market
  • mobility
  • cross-border commuting
  • gender
  • border regions
  • economic performance
  • netherlands
  • belgum
  • germany

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