The Political Leaders’ Affiliation Database (PLAD) is compiled manually. It includes a wealth of leader-related data, including geocoded information on the birthplace and ethnicity of political leaders. We collected this information by structured internet searches. As sources, we mainly rely on online libraries and databases such as CIA World Factbook, Munzinger, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Ethnicity of Celebs, as well as on reports from news services such as BBC News, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. PLAD also includes information on leaders’ tenure and education and in part draws on existing data collection efforts. Please cite the original sources of all data, as we indicate in the codebook below.

Please cite the PLAD as:

Bomprezzi, Pietro; Dreher, Axel; Fuchs, Andreas; Hailer, Teresa; Kammerlander, Andreas; Kaplan, Lennart; Marchesi, Silvia; Masi, Tania; Robert, Charlotte; Unfried, Kerstin (2024). Wedded to Prosperity? Informal Influence and Regional Favoritism. CEPR Discussion Paper 18878.

You can access the PLAD here:

Other leader data

Development Minister Database: Data on the donor country’s government member that holds the main responsibility for development cooperation, 1967-2012. Fuchs, Andreas, and Katharina Richert, 2018, Development Minister Characteristics and Aid Giving, European Journal of Political Economy, 53: 186-204.

Archigos 4.1: Data of effective head of government, 1875 – 2004. Goemans, Henk E., Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, and Giacomo Chiozza, 2009, Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders, Journal of Peace Research 46, 2: 269-283.

The Global Leadership Project: Data on government leaders throughout the world – including legislators, members of the executive branch, members of the judiciary, and other decision-makers whose power may be formal or informal, cross-section 2010/2013. Gerring, John, Erzen Oncel, Kevin Morrison, and Daniel Pamstein, 2019, Who Rules the World? A Portrait of the Global Leadership Class, Perspectives on Politics 17, 4: 1079-1097.

Leader Ethnicity Data: Data on head of governments’ ethnicity, 1945-1999. Fearon, James, Kimuli Kasara, and David Laitin, 2007, Ethnic Minority Rule and Civil War Onset, American Political Science Review 101, 1: 187-193.

Leader Experience and Attribute Descriptions (LEAD): Data on personal lives and experiences of state leaders, 1875-2004. Ellis, Cali M., Michael C. Horowitz, and Allan C. Stam, 2015, Introducing the LEAD Dataset, International Interactions 41, 4: 718-741.

Regular Turnover Details 1.0: Data on the manner of each leader’s exit and the relationship between outgoing and incoming leaders, 1960-2015. Licht, Amanda A., 2022, Introducing Regular Turnover Details, 1960–2015: A Dataset on World Leaders’ Legal Removal From Office, Journal of Peace Research 59, 2: 277-285.

Populist Leaders, 1900–2020: Data on 51 populist presidents and prime ministers. Funke, Manuel, Moritz Schularick, and Christoph Trebesch, 2023, Populist Leaders and the Economy, American Economic Review 113, 12: 3249-3288.

Leaders’ Political Experience, 1950–2017: Data on political experience of political leaders based on duration of experience in politics, its quality, and its breadth. Baturo, Alexander and Johan A. Elkink, 2022, What Countries Select More Experienced Leaders? The PolEx Measure of Political Experience, British Journal of Political Science 52, 3: 1455-1464.

Profession and Education of Political Leaders: Data on the profession and education of political leaders, 1970–2002. Dreher, Axel, Michael J. Lamla, Sarah M. Lein, and Frank Somogyi, 2008, The Impact of Political Leaders’ Profession and Education on Reforms, Journal of Comparative Economics 37, 1: 169-193.

Leader Takeover Events: Data on leader takeover events, 1918–2019. Baturo, Alexander and Jakob Tolstrup, 2023, Incumbent Takeovers, Journal of Peace Research 60, 2: 373-386.

WhoGov dataset 2.0: Data on gender and party affiliation of cabinet members, 1966–2021. Nyrup, Jacob and Stuart Bramwell, 2020, Who Governs? A New Global Dataset on Members of Cabinets, American Political Science Review 114, 4: 1366-1374.

Change in Source of Leader Support (CHISOLS) 5.0: Data on the societal groups that political leader rely on, 1919–2018. Mattes, Michaela, Brett Ashley Leeds, and Naoko Matsumura, 2016, Measuring Change in Source of Leader Support: The CHISOLS Dataset, Journal of Peace Research 53, 2: 259-267.

Cursus Honorum: Data on personal leader background, experience in politics, careers and significant posts prior to their tenure, and details about time in office, 1960–2010. Baturo, Alexander, 2016, Cursus Honorum: Personal Background, Careers and Experience of Political Leaders in Democracy and Dictatorship—New Data and Analyses, Politics and Governance 4, 2: 138-157.

Leader Birthregions and Ethnicity: Data on leaders’ ethnicity and birth region at the GREG and Ethnologue homeland levels, 1992–2013. De Luca, Giacomo, Roland Hodler, Paul Raschky, and Michele Valsecchi, 2018, Ethnic Favoritism: An Axiom of Politics? Journal of Development Economics 132: 115-129.

Italian MPs’ Birthregions: Data on birth towns of Italian legislators, 1994–2006. Carozzi, Felipe and Luca Repetto, 2016, Sending the Pork Home: Birth Town Bias in Transfers to Italian Municipalities, Journal of Public Economics 134: 42-52.

Leader Education: Data on national leaders’ education, 1946–2011. Yu, Shu and Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2020, Rich or Alive? Political (In)Stability, Political Leader Selection and Economic Growth, Journal of Comparative Economics, 48, 3: 561-577.

Global Leader Ideology Dataset: Data on national leaders’ political ideology, 1945-2020. Herre, Bastian, 2023, Identifying Ideologues: A Global Dataset on Political Leaders, 1945–2020, British Journal of Political Science 53, 2: 740-748.

Coup Leaders Dataset: Data on the identity of coup leaders, 1950-2020. Eschenauer-Engler, Tanja, and Bastian Herre, 2023, Coup Leaders: A New Comprehensive Dataset, 1950–2020, European Political Science, forthcoming.

If you would like to include your data on this webpage please let us know at