Mikal Skuterud

Mikal Skuterud

519-888-4567 x42584
Office: HH 204
Personal website

CV: Mikal Skuterud

BA (McMaster); MA (British Columbia); PhD (McMaster)

Areas of specialization: Labour economics; Microeconometrics

Research interests

My main research interests lie in the field of labour economics, especially in the areas of immigration policy, job search, and labour market regulations affecting the hours that people work.


I initially became interested in labour markets, especially in questions about what people are paid for the jobs they do, while working as a high school student in a large warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario employing large numbers of recent immigrants to Canada. My interests led me to McMaster University's undergraduate program in Labour Studies, which provided me with a broad interdisciplinary perspective on labour market issues, with an emphasis on the role that trade unions play in these markets. As part of this program, I was introduced to a sequence of courses in economic theory, as well as field courses in Labour Economics and the Economics of Trade Unions. My recollection is that the formality and rigour of the economic models, which allowed me to exploit my skills in mathematics, appealed to me, which led to a Master's degree in Economics at the University of British Columbia, where I completed two additional courses in Labour Economics.

Applying to PhD programs in Economics, I was drawn back to McMaster University by the offer of a generous four-year Doctoral Fellowship, a Faculty with exceptional strength in the area of Labour Economics, and an impatient girlfriend (and soon to be wife). During my PhD studies, completed under the supervision of Peter Kuhn, now of the University of California at Santa Barbara, I began my research on working hours -- looking specifically at the impact of Sunday shopping deregulation on working hours and employment levels in the retail industry -- and on job search -- examining the impact of using the internet to find a job on workers' unemployment durations.

Following graduation, I worked for three years in a small research division at Statistics Canada called the Family and Labour Studies Division. This job provided me with an ideal setting for focusing full-time on my research, while accessing confidential Statistics Canada data. It was during this time that my interests in immigration policy and the challenges that many new immigrants face in trying to integrate into Canada's labour markets developed, a topic that continues to occupy much of my research efforts. Following the birth of our two sons, the preference of my wife and I was to be closer to our families in Mississauga, which brought us back to Southern Ontario and my current position here in the Economics Department at the University of Waterloo

Selected publications

Papers in refereed journals

  • Skuterud, Mikal and Mingcui Su, “The Influence of Measurement Error and Unobserved Heterogeneity in Estimating Immigrant Returns to Foreign and Host-Country Sources of Human Capital,” Empirical Economics, forthcoming.
  • Skuterud, M., Su, M., Immigrants and the Dynamics of High-Wage Jobs, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 65(2): 377-397, April 2012.
  • Skuterud, M., The Visible Minority Wage Gap Across Generations of Canadians, Canadian Journal of Economics, 43(3):860-881, August 2010.
  • Aydemir, A., Skuterud M., The Immigrant Wage Differential Within And Across Establishments, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 61(3):334-352, April 2008.
  • Skuterud, M., Identifying the Potential of Work-Sharing as a Job-Creation Strategy, Journal of Labor Economics, 25(2): 265-87, April 2007.
  • Skuterud, M., The Impact of Sunday Shopping on Employment and Hours of Work in the Retail Industry: Evidence from Canada, European Economic Review, 48(8): 1953-78, November 2005.
  • Aydemir, A., Skuterud, M., Explaining the Deteriorating Entry Earnings of Canada's Immigrant Cohorts: 1966-2000, Canadian Journal of Economics, 38(2): 641-71, May 2005.
  • Kuhn, P., Skuterud, M., Internet Job Search and Unemployment Durations, American Economic Review, 94(1): 218-32, March 2004.

Technical reports

  • Skuterud M., Explaining the Increase in On-the-Job Search, Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series. Statistics Canada, 2005, no.250.
  • Skuterud, M., Frenette, M., Poon, P., Describing the Distribution of Income: Guidelines for Effective Analysis, Income Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada, 2005, no.10.