Dey C & Gibbon J (2018) New development: Private finance over public good? Questioning the value of impact bonds. Public Money and Management, 38 (5), pp. 375-378. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2018.1477676
Social impact bonds (SIBs) have emerged as an alternative mechanism for financing projects with an explicit social purpose. This article contrasts the proposed benefits of SIBs with the more mixed performance of initial projects, and reviews the early literature, revealing a similar divide between initial optimism and subsequent critique. Despite this, SIBs continue to receive high-level support, whilst expanding their reach through controversial new ‘development’ and ‘environmental’ impact bonds. This situation deserves more scrutiny in the accounting literature.
Impact bonds; third sector; outcomes-based performance; accountability
Public Money and Management: Volume 38, Issue 5