Essays on Labor Markets in West Africa

Virginie Comblon

Décembre 2020

Université Paris-Dauphine

Sous la direction de François Roubaud

This thesis contributes to a better understanding of labor markets functioning in West Africa. The three chapters of this thesis serve the common interest to analysis employment-related questions with a gender perspective. The first chapter deals with the question of the measurement of employment in surveys. Based on about forty surveys and censuses conducted in Cameroon, Mali and Senegal conducted between 1976 et 2012, it presents the diversity of the methodologies used to measure employment and their influence on the statistics produced. Then, this thesis studies the link between family ties and labor supply. In a context of high exposure to risks and low access to formal insurance and credit systems, family plays a crucial role. The second chapter investigates how individuals adjust their labour supply when another household member is chronically ill. The third chapter puts forward the potential ambivalent role of the family ties in the job search process. Family may have beneficial effects in facilitating individuals’ access to employment but may have disincentive effects through obligations of redistribution.


Keywords: Labor markets, West Africa, Gender, Labor statistics, Survey methodology, Health, Family, Job search, Informal redistribution.