BACKWARDNESS OF BORDER REGIONS

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ABSTRACT

This paper tries to assess the impact of borders on cross-regional spillovers and regional competitiveness by using a shift share analysis. Based on sector data on employment, it is examined to which extent border regions experience positive (or negative) spillovers from neighbouring regions. The analysis proves that Europe's internal borders still suffer from lower spillovers which gives them a structural disadvantage as compared to non-border regions. The hypothesis that this is due to low levels of labour mobility has been supported by various studies. The analysis also shows, however, that border regions of weaker performing economies (Germany and Belgium) experience positive cross border spillovers from stronger neighbouring economies (the Netherlands). This finding indicates that other modes of economic integration (trade, capital and inter-firm relations) are less inhibited by the presence of borders.

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