Cross-border and local co-operation on the island of Ireland: An economic perspective

Stephen Roper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-border and local co-operation can foster local learning and contribute positively to business performance and social cohesion. This paper considers firms' economic motivation for both types of co-operation around the Ireland-Northern Ireland border. This area, while inevitably impacted by civil unrest in Northern Ireland, shares many of the economic and developmental characteristics of border areas throughout Europe. Simultaneous probit models are used to examine the determinants of co-operation. Overall, around a third of firms in Ireland and Northern Ireland engage in local co-operation of some form; around one in six in Northern Ireland and one in twelve in Ireland also engage in cross-border co-operation. Proximity to the border, perceived barriers to cross-border co-operation and country uncertainty reduce the incidence of cross-border co-operation rates below that of local co-operation. Cross-border co-operation in Northern Ireland is more common because of small region size and fewer perceived barriers to cross-border co-operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-574
Number of pages21
JournalPolitical Geography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007


  • Cross-border co-operation
  • Ireland
  • Northern Ireland


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