A study of cross-border working on the island of Ireland

June 17, 2024
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To our knowledge, this study represents the first comprehensive study of cross-border workers on the Island of Ireland. We estimate that the total number of cross-border workers increased from 12,740 to between 17,827 and 19,282 which represents a growth rate of between 40 and 51 per cent. Cross-border worker flows increased in both directions over the period 2011 to 2021, but the bulk of the growth was due to the expansion in the numbers travelling from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland for work.  After controlling for other factors, Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland cross-border workers incur a wage disadvantage of just under 30% relative to their Northern Ireland to Republic of Ireland counterparts. Female cross-border workers earn approximately 30% less than their male counterparts.  Common perceived barriers to cross border working included exchange rate risk, tax return requirements, accessing social welfare benefits, the cost of commuting and difficulties accessing financial products such as mortgages.