Immigration and charter cities

One problem that free migration would solve is the lack of access of many people across the world to top-quality legal systems that promote prosperity. Open borders help solve this problem both directly, by allowing people to migrate to jurisdictions with better legal systems, and indirectly, through the threat of exit causing more competition in government.

Another proposal that would achieve somewhat similar results is charter cities. A charter city is a city that uses its own legal charter and is not subject to the laws of the nation-state that it is part of. This legal charter might be based on the laws of some other country, and it may even be backed up by the right to appeal in the courts of that country. The Charter Cities Institute, started by Paul Romer, has been at the forefront of promoting the idea of charter cities.

Below are some links and videos that explore charter cities and the relationship with immigration.


Immigration Policy: Charter Cities by Bryan Caplan:

Blog posts and articles

You can also see all blog posts tagged charter cities.

General discussions of charter cities (with some reference to migration policy):

Discussions focused on the relationship with open borders and migration policy, also touching on related ideas:

Discussions of the Honduras charter cities proposal:

  • Honduras’s Great Experiment by Nathan Smith, Open Borders: The Case, September 7, 2012.
  • Honduras< by Nathan Smith, Open Borders: The Case, October 21, 2012, after the courts turned down the charter cities proposal in Honduras.

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