The Institutional Structure of Immigration Law

21 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2012

See all articles by Eric A. Posner

Eric A. Posner

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: July 2012


Immigration law scholars should give more attention to the institutional structure of immigration law and, in particular, the way that the government addresses problems of asymmetric information in the course of screening potential migrants and attempting to control their behavior once they arrive. Economic models of optimal contracting provide a useful starting point for analyzing this problem. This approach is applied to several current debates in immigration scholarship, including controversies over “crimmigration” and courts’ refusal to extend labor and employment rights to undocumented aliens.

Suggested Citation

Posner, Eric A., The Institutional Structure of Immigration Law (July 2012). University of Chicago Institute for Law & Economics Olin Research Paper No. 607, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 395, Available at SSRN: or

Eric A. Posner (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

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