Heather D. Hill


Note: Professor Hill will be on sabbatical in Winter and Spring 2021.

Heather D. Hill is a Professor at the Evans School. Her research examines how public and workplace policies influence family economic circumstances and child wellbeing in low-income families. She brings an inter-disciplinary lens to these topics, integrating theoretical and methodological insights from developmental psychology, economics, and sociology. Hill’s current research projects include:

Trends and consequences of income instability in households with children: Hill is using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement to study how income dynamics relate to child cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

Effects of local and state minimum wage laws: 

  • As part of the evaluation of Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, Hill led a longitudinal qualitative study of low-wage workers with children during the implementation of the minimum wage. This project has received research funding from the Russell Sage Foundation and the City of Seattle.
  • In a study of state minimum wage laws and adult and child health, Hill worked with Jen Otten in the School of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and James Buszkiewicz, PhD candidate in Epidemiology, to analyze restricted data from the National Health Interview Survey in the Northwest Statistical Research Data Center. This project received research funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
  • Hill is an investigator in a project examining childcare teacher wages and the culture of health in child care centers (PI: Otten, SPH; Funding: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).

Effects of state Earned Income Tax Credits on multiple forms of violence: This project is led by Professor Ali Rowhani-Rahbar in Epidemiology at UW, and funded by the Centers for Disease Control: https://csde.washington.edu/news-events/ali-rowhani-rahbar-and-heather-hill-awarded-u01-to-investigate-eitc-and-violence-prevention/.

Evaluating the Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave program: Hill is leading a sub-contract with the Washington Employment Security Department, which administers PFML, to plan and conduct evaluation activities related to this new insurance program.  Funding for this project was provided by the Perigee Fund and Pivotal Ventures.

Hill received a Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2007. She also has an MPP from the University of Michigan and a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington. Hill spent three years as a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Washington, DC., and two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast.

At UW, Hill is a faculty affiliate of the West Coast Poverty Center and the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.  She also serves as a member of the Executive Council for the Population Health Initiative.

Moe, C., Adhia, A., Mooney, S., Hill, H.D., Rivara, F., & Rowhani-Rahbar. (2020). State Earned Income Tax Credit Policies and Intimate Partner Homicide in the United States, 1990-2016. Injury Prevention, 0(1-4). Early view July 24.

Morgan, E.R., Hill, H.D., Mooney, S., Rivara, F., Rowhani-Rahbar, A. (2020). State Earned Income Tax Credits and General Health Indicators: A Quasi-Experimental National Study 1993–2016. Health Services Research. Early view July 9.

Buszkiewicz, J., Hill, H.D., & Otten, J. (2020). State minimum wages and health in working-age adults using the National Health Interview Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology, advance articles February 10th

Buszkiewicz, J., Hill, H.D., & Otten, J. (2020). Response to “Methods for estimating effects of minimum wage on health. American Journal of Epidemiology, advance article February 10th.

Hardy, B., Hill, H.D., & Romich, J. (2019). Strengthening social programs to promote economic stability during childhood. Sociall Policy Report, 32(2).

Gennetian, L.A., Rodrigues, C., Morris, P., and Hill, H.D. (2019). Income level and volatility by children’s race and Hispanic ethnicity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 81(1), 204-229.Hill, H.D. & Romich, J. (2018). How will higher minimum wages affect family life and child well-being? Child Development Perspectives, 12(2), 109-114. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12270

Appointed member, Executive Council, UW Population Health Initiative, 2019.

Elected member, APPAM Policy Council, 2019-2022

Elected member, Evans Faculty Council, 2018-2020

Member, Faculty advisory committee, UW Faculty 2050, 2018

External Review Board Member, Social Service Review, 2015-2018.

Chair, Primary Research Area on the Wellbeing of Families and Households, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, UW, 2017-

Member, Executive Board, Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, UW, 2017-

Kovski, N., Hill, H.D., Mooney, S., Rivara, F., and Rowhani-Rahbar, A. “The Generosity of State Earned Income Tax Credits and Rates of Child Maltreatment Reports and Substantiations (2004-2016).”

Hill, H.D. “Family income level, variability, and trend as predictors of child cognitive and behavioral outcomes”Bruns, A., Hill, H.D., & Kahn-Kravis, T. “Low-income families’ objective and subjective financial well-being: Mixed method evidence from Seattle”

Bruns, A., Wething, H*. & Hill, H.D. “Low-wage jobs and work-family fit: Perceptions and tradeoffs among working families.”

Conwell, J., Hill, H.D., & Gellner, B* “Race, income, and parental spending on children”

Hill, H.D. & Wething, H*. “Will everything go up? Worker knowledge and interpretation of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance.”

Ybarra, M. & Hill, H.D. “The safety net and modes of maternity leave-taking among less-educated mothers”

Hill, H.D., Romich, J. & Freitag, C. “Making Sense of Effective Marginal Taxes: How Low-Income Working Families in Seattle Experience the Interaction between Earnings and Public Assistance”

Hubert G. Locke Diversity Award (2018) – Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Research & News Highlights

Centers and Initiatives