Dr. Brandon Vick, an assistant professor of Economics at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, became a MARTI research associate in 2013. His general area of research is applied microeconomics, with publications in the areas of labor, development, and health economics. His current research measures how the gender earnings gap in Brazil relates to differences in workers’ abilities to move to higher-paying jobs, and how employers pay lower wages based on such mobility problems.
With the Nathan Kline Institute, Dr. Vick worked on a number of projects studying the relationship between mental health and economic outcomes. Dr. Vick applied a number of poverty methods traditionally used in the study of economic development to the study of inequality for people with severe psychiatric disorder. His team compared the poverty rate, depth (distance from the poverty line), and severity (inequality of incomes below the poverty line) of households with and without a working-age member with severe psychiatric disorder in the United States.
Previously, Dr. Vick also participated in the New York-based Center to Study Recovery in Social Contexts, focused on programs to aid in social recovery for persons diagnosed with mental illness. Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, the team gathered qualitative data from persons with a lived experience with mental illness; gathering their thoughts of well-being, economic and otherwise. This information was used to construct a multidimensional well-being index, which was applied to survey data in order to measure poverty among persons with psychiatric diagnoses in the United States. The use of mixed methods and participatory approaches expands the set of information typically used in economic studies and potentially better informs us of the economic lives of people living with mental illness.
Dr. Vick also held an internship with the United Nations Development Program, where he researched the best practices and policies related to expanding access to microfinance services for poor communities. He has worked in numerous consultancy positions with the World Bank and World Health Organization, researching the relationship between disability and economic inequality. More recently, Dr. Vick produced a World Bank, country partnership strategy report for Montenegro, measuring gender inequality across multiple socio-economic dimensions, including health, education, and workforce outcomes.
Dr. Vick is serving as a MARTI research associate through his membership to the interdisciplinary Veterans’ Reintegration Program at IUP.