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.

In other research, Hill and collaborators are examining how low-income women combine work and public assistance around the time of a birth. Finally, 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
Family and Employment Policy
Income and Social Inequality
Social Welfare Policy
Recent Publications: 


Hill, H.D. & Romich, J. (forthcoming). How will higher minimum wages affect family life and child well-being? Child Development Perspectives.

Hill, H.D., Romich, J., Mattingly, M., Shammsudin, S., and Wething, H.. (2017) Introduction to Household Economic Instability and Social Policy. Social Service Review, 91(3).

Romich, J. & Hill, H.D. (2017). Income Instability and Income Support Programs: Recommendations for Policy and Practice. Washington, DC: Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability Research Consortium.

Pilarz, A.R. & Hill, H.D. (2017) Child care instability and behavior problems: Does parenting mediate the relationship? Journal of Marriage and the Family. Early view online 07june2017.

Hong, G., Deutsch, J., & Hill, H.D. (2015). Ratio-of-Mediator-Probability Weighting for Causal Mediation Analysis in the Presence of Treatment-by-Mediator Interaction  Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 40(3), 307-340.

Gennetian, L., Wolf, S., Hill, H.D., & Morris, P. (2015). Intra-Year Household Income Dynamics and Adolescent School Behavior.  Demography, 52(2), 455-483.

Pilarz, A.R. & Hill, H.D. (2014). Unstable and multiple child care arrangements and young children’s behavior. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(4), 471-483.

Hill, H.D. & Ybarra, M. (2014). Less-educated workers’ unstable employment: Can the safety net help? Fast Focus, 19-2014. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin.

Professional service: 

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 2018)

PUBPOL 579: Child Well-being and Public Policy

PUBPOL 598: Administrative and Policy Skills Workshops: Race & Equity in Policy and Governance (limited to first-year MPA students)

Working Papers: 

Romich, J. & Hill, H.D. "Coupling minimum wage hikes with public investments to make work pay and reduce poverty" 

Gennetian, L., Rodrigues, C., Hill, H.D., Morris, P. "Stability of income and school attendance among NYC students of low-income families" 

Hill, H.D. “Trends and divergences in childhood income dynamics: 1970-2000"

Hill, H.D. "Income dynamics and child development"

Morris, P., Hill, H.D., Gennetian, L., Rodrigues, C., & Wolf., S. “Income volatility in U.S. households with children: Another growing disparity between the rich and the poor?” Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Paper #1429-15: http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp142915.pdf

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"