This dissertation contains a depth analysis of the labor market in the West African Economic and Monetary Union countries. It presents theoretical reasoning in some areas of modern labor economics applied in a developing country context. It is divided into four parts: ?Country Labor Market Context? presents a descriptive analysis of the labor market in those countries with an overview of their labor regulations; ?Determinants of Unemployment Duration? analyzes the determinants of unemployment using individual and household characteristics; ?Wages and Productivity premiums in the Manufacturing Sector? examines the marginal productivity differentials among different types of workers which are compared to their estimated relative wages, leading to new evidence on productivity based and non productivity-based explanations of the determination of wages; ?The impact of the Reform to fixed-term contracts on Employment and Productivity: Evidence from Burkina Faso? evaluates the impact on employment and productivity in the Burkina Faso?s manufacturing sector of the reform to fixed-term contracts introduced in 2008.