Heather Hill
Ph.D., Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University
M.P.P, University of Michigan
B.A., Political Science, University of Washington

Heather D. Hill is an associate professor in 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. As one of seven Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Scholars funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Hill is currently examining how state-level safety net rules affect family earnings and income stability. Hill is part of a team of seven UW faculty evaluating the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance, with funding from the City of Seattle and from multiple philanthropic foundations. As part of that evaluation, Hill is leading a longitudinal qualitative study of low-wage workers with children during the implementation of the minimum wage changes. Hill has received grants to support her research from the Russell Sage Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment. 

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.

Professional Title: 
Associate Professor
Poverty and anti-poverty policy
Social policy and child well-being
Low-wage employment
Income volatility
Recent Publications: 

Gennetian, L.A., Rodrigues, C., Morris, P., and Hill, H.D. (In press) “Income level and volatility by children’s race and Hispanic ethnicity.” Journal of Marriage and Family.

Hill, H.D. (2018). Book review of Chaudry, A., Morrissey, T., Weiland, C., & Yoshikawa, H., “Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality.” Social Service Review, 92(2), 304-307.

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

Gennetian, L., Rodrigues, C., Hill, H.D., Morris, P. (2018). Stability of income and school attendance among NYC students of low-income families  Economics of Education Review, 63, 20-30.

Hill, H.D. (2018). Chapter Six: Trends and divergences in childhood income dynamics: 1970s-2000s. pp179-213 in J. Benson (ed.) Advances in Child Development and Behavior, volume 54. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier, Inc.

Romich, J., and Hill, H.D. (2018). Coupling minimum wage hikes with public investments to make work pay and reduce poverty. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(3), 22-43. https://www.rsfjournal.org/doi/pdf/10.7758/RSF.2018.4.3.02

Hill, H.D., Romich, J., Mattingly, M., Shamsuddin, S., and Wething, H. (2017) Introduction to Household Economic Instability and Social Policy. Social Service Review, 91(3). https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/694110

Professional service: 

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-

Courses taught: 

PUBPOL 526: Program Evaluation (Next offering: Spring quarter 2019)

PUBPOL 579: Child Well-being and Public Policy (Next offering: Winter quarter 2019)

PUBPOL 572: Race & Equity in Policy and Governance (limited to first-year MPA students; Next offering: Winter/Spring quarter 2019)

Working Papers: 

Buszkiewicz, J.*, Hill, H.D., & Otten, J. “State minimum wages and overweight, obesity, and diabetes”

Hill, H.D. "Income dynamics and child cognitive and behavioral outcomes"

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

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

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

Bruns, A., Hill, H.D., & Kahn-Kravis, T. "Low-income families' objective and subjective financial well-being: Mixed method evidence from Seattle"


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

Evans School Main Specializations: 
Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation
Social Policy: Poverty, Education, and Social Welfare