Quotation Maier, Florentine, Barbetta, Gian Paolo, Godina, Franka. 2017. Paradoxes of Social Impact Bonds. 2017 EGPA Annual Conference, Milano, Italien, 28.08.-01.09.




Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) have alternatively been portrayed as a promising tool to improve the functioning of welfare systems, or as an instrument of neoliberalism of that threatens to undermine welfare systems. A more nuanced understanding of the promises as well as pitfalls of SIBs has been developing recently, as practical experiences and the amount of published empirical evidence about implemented SIBs have been growing. We aim to contribute to the development of such an understanding by means of a combination of qualitative and quantitative text analysis. In doing so, we analyse a comprehensive sample of 51 practitioner reports on SIBs. We identify two key paradoxes of SIBs. These paradoxes centre on statements that cannot both hold true for the very same SIB: (1) flexible but evidence-based services, (2) cost-saving transfer of innovation and scale-up risks to private investors. We conclude with a reflection how those paradoxes have been resolved in really existing SIBs so far, which strategies of de-paradoxification may turn out paramount in future, and how positive aspects of SIBs can be preserved while defusing their more problematic ones.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Paradoxes of Social Impact Bonds
Event 2017 EGPA Annual Conference
Year 2017
Date 28.08.-01.09.
Country Italy
Location Milano


Maier, Florentine (Details)
Barbetta, Gian Paolo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy)
Godina, Franka (Contrast Management Consulting, Austria)
Institute for Nonprofit Management IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
5421 Aging research (Details)
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