This article inspects the relationship between fertility and employment, providing an explanatory mixed-methods analysis to gauge their nexus for rural and urban Albania over the 2000s. Instrumenting reproductive decision with having two first-born daughters in a 2SLS model of employment, we find that having an additional child influences negatively employment probability for rural mothers, but it does not influence employment decision in urban areas. Rural women are particularly dependent on their fertility decision if they have low levels of education. This effect is not particularly relevant to specific types of rural employment, but it is reinforced by demographic traits of the household, such as if there are seniors in the household or if the partner is working. The analysis highlights that there is a different and relatively worse labour market trajectory experienced by rural women than their urban counterparts. The article then examines qualitatively how structural and contextual settings influence women in their decisions. It inspects the experience of rural women from three distinct rural municipalities, exploring the differential roles that policy could play to favour their insertion.
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