Introducing the Bilateral Labor Agreements Dataset

Written with Adam Chilton and Bartek Woda

The above figure shows the number of Bilateral Labor Agreements (BLAs) that countries signed between 1945 to 2015. Although hundreds of BLAs have been signed, these agreements have received little attention from academics. This is likely in part because BLAs often are not recorded in major treaty databases or widely reported on. The result is that data on BLAs has not been publicly available.

Over the last two years, we’ve been collecting data to try and change that. We’ve compiled data on 582 BLAs, and we are making it available in two datasets that are ready for use by researchers. If you’re interested in using the data, you can learn more and find the link to download it here. If you’d like to know more about why countries sign BLAs, you can read Adam and Eric’s paper on the topic that’s now forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Studies. And if you know about BLAs that should be added to the dataset, or taken out, please let us know.