Michael Shields received his PhD from the University of Utah in 1975. Since then he was an assistant professor and associate professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Professor at Central Michigan University. He was department chair at Central Michigan University from 1993 until 2003.
His principle research interests concern applications of human capital theory to fertility, migration and economic growth. He is particularly interested in application to developing countries and has published two books on economic development.
He visited IZA from April through June 2008 and subsequently became a Research Fellow.