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Warner, M.E. (2013). "Private Interest in Public Finance: Social Impact Bonds," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 16(4): 303-319.

Social impact bonds (SIBs) attract private investment to social programs by paying a market rate of return if predefined outcome targets are met. SIBs monetize benefits of social interventions and tie pay to performance, limiting governmental control once the contract is designed. Despite policy enthusiasm across the globe, SIBs have failed to attract private market investors without substantial additional guarantees. SIBs raise questions about government’s ability to ensure broader public values. Using literature on contracting, performance management, and public private partnerships, this exploratory analysis focuses on institutional design, transaction costs, and performance measurement, outlining the opportunities and concerns SIBs present.


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Subject: Planning