Cross-border commuting and consuming: An empirical investigation

DateMarch 2014
AuthorThomas Y. MATHÄ, Alessandro PORPIGLIA and Michael ZIEGELMEYER

This paper analyses empirically how cross-border consumption varies across product and services categories and across household characteristics. It focuses on the part of crossborder sales that arise due to work-related cross-border crossings; it analyses the crossborder consumption behaviour of cross-border commuter households residing in Belgium, France and Germany and working in Luxembourg. In total, it is estimated that these households spend €925 million per annum in Luxembourg, reflecting about 17% of their gross annual income from Luxembourg and contributing about 10% to total household final consumption expenditure in Luxembourg. Cross-border consumption expenditure is shown to depend on individual and household characteristics, such as total household income, the number of cross-border commuters in the household, distance between home and work, as well as price level (index) differences between Luxembourg and its neighbouring countries.Cross-border commuters take advantage of existing arbitrage opportunities.

Keywords: cross-border shopping, commuting, consumption, expenditure, households

JEL Codes: F15, R12, R23, J61

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