Journal of Applied Philosophy - Early View Articles

The Case for Markets in Citizenship

Published online on Dec 19, 2017


A number of countries sell citizenship rights to foreign buyers. Gary Becker makes an economic case for the state's sale of citizenship; more recently, Javier Hidalgo has offered a moral defence. However, the private sale of citizenship on a market remains largely unexplored and undefended. This article argues that under certain conditions states ought to permit their citizens to swap citizenship rights with foreigners in exchange for payment. I begin by offering two defeasible reasons to legalize citizenship markets: they would enable mutually beneficial exchange and increase the labour market opportunities of the global poor. I consider a number of counterarguments and conclude that none are dispositive, leaving the case for citizenship markets undefeated.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1111/japp.12292 About DOI

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