Heather Hill is an Assistant Professor in the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. Her fields of interest include poverty and inequality, program evaluation, maternal employment, and the health and development of young children. At SSA, she teaches Social Intervention: Programs and Policies and Data for Policy Analysis and Management. At the University of Chicago, Hill is an affiliate of the Population Research Center and the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy.
Hill is the co-Principal Investigator (with Susan Lambert) of EINet: The Employment Instability, Family Well-being, and Social Policy Network, based at SSA. EINet is an interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in the causes and consequences of employment instability, and in exploring opportunities to promote stability through workplace and policy interventions.
Hill holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington; a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan; and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Her background also includes several years as a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Washington, D.C. and two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ivory Coast.
Professor Hill's research examines the effects of social policy on family economic circumstances and on child health and development. Hill draws from economic theory and methods to understand policy effects, parental work decisions, and investments in child well-being, as well as from the field of Developmental Psychology to explain why and how children are affected by these factors. She conducts primarily quantitative research, using experimental and econometric methods, but has also participated in the collection and analysis of qualitative data.
She was involved in the Next Generation Project, a collaboration between researchers at MDRC and several academic institutions to explore how experimental welfare programs implemented in the 1990s affected the wellbeing of children. She has also applied quasi-experimental techniques to experimental data in order to estimate the causal effects of maternal employment and job loss on children’s health and classroom behavior. Hill recently started a study of the effects of parental employment instability on children’s health insurance coverage, health care, and health outcomes. She has been a qualitative interviewer on several program evaluations, including the Gautreaux II housing mobility project in Chicago.
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