This project updates a key dataset for the comparative study of international labour laws in 117 countries.

The updated CBR Labour Regulation Index Dataset (‘CBR-LRI’), the product of work at the Centre for Business Research (CBR), will provide data on labour laws in 117 countries for the period from (in most cases) the 1970s to 2021.  Digit funding has enabled new data to be added covering the period 2013 – 2022.

The index aims to provide a measure of the extent to which a given aspect of employment or labour relations is regulated (from the point of view of the employer) or protected (from the point of view of the worker).

The Index is becoming widely used by the research community, governments, and international agencies, to study the interaction of legal and institutional change with wider economic, political and social trends, including the rise of the platform economy.

Initial findings from the new coding suggest some strengthening of the rules governing the employment status of workers, including those in gig/platform work.  New analysis of the Datasets will further explore the relationship between digitalisation and employment regulation.

The updated dataset is expected to be published in 2023.


The CBR-LRI is constructed using a version of ‘leximetric’ methodology which provides a basis for the quantitative analysis of legal rules (Lele and Siems, 2007; Adams and Deakin, 2015). The process is detailed in the Codebook that accompanies the dataset.


University of Cambridge
Louise Bishop
University of Cambridge

Additional research support from Tvisha Shroff

Digit Debates talk

Watch Professor Simon Deakin’s talk on ‘Decoding Employment Status’