Hilary Hoynes is an economist and Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. She is a co-editor of the American Economic Review. She studies the impact of tax and transfer programs on low-income families, particularly single parent families. She was the 2014 winner of the Carolyn Shaw Bell Award from the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession.
Her research has covered every major government anti-poverty program in the United States, including The Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and has examined outcomes such as labor supply, employment, marriage, divorce, infant health, and education. She has found that people who lived in counties that adopted the Food Stamp program before their third birthday had better health later in life, that the Earned Income Tax Credit does much more to encourage parents' work and to reduce poverty among children at a lower cost to the federal budget than the Child Tax Credit, and that Head Start preschool programs have longer-lasting impacts for children who do not speak English at home. Since the Great Recession, Hoynes' research has focused on the performance of anti-poverty programs in recessions.
Hoyes has research affiliations at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the University of California, Davis Center for Poverty Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. She serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program and the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation's Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. In 2016 Hoynes was appointed as a member of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.
She is the daughter of economist Jeffrey G. Williamson, and is married to producer Tom Hoynes. She has two children.