The Worker Protection Index (WPI): Coding for Australia, China, Indonesia and New Zealand

Gordon Anderson, Sean Cooney, Peter Gahan, Petra Mahy, Lingfeng Mao, Richard Mitchell, Anthony O'Donnell, Andrew Stewart, Carolyn Sutherland

Research output: Book/ReportOther ReportResearch


This document introduces a new measure of worker protection – the Worker Protection Index (WPI). The WPI has been constructed for the purpose of assessing the extent to which national legal systems provide a range of protections for workers. The index contains 36 variables. The WPI takes as its starting point a broader conception of worker protection than prior quantitative measures of labour law. While most items included in the WPI incorporate the areas of labour and employment laws covering persons in the formal labour market captured by prior measures, it also includes a number of additional items that cover more general forms of social protection for individuals and households dependent on their labour for subsistence, such as unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation for injury or death at work, and retirement benefits. The WPI seeks first to establish an initial measure of the law on the books (de jure) but then, second, through a reasoned transparent process set out descriptively in the template, to arrive at a more accurate measure of the law’s strength by incorporating appropriate weights for the extent to which the law covers different groups of workers (according to such matters as the status of the employee, the size of the enterprise, the types of industry and so on).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRochester, NY
Number of pages203
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2017

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