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Investing for "impact" or investing for profit?: Social impact bonds, pay for success, and the next wave of privatization of social services and education [Executive summary]

The research literature includes a small but useful set of studies that examine SIBs. We analyze these as well as related findings, including several case studies as examples of SIBs in the United States; further, we assess approaches to social service delivery. While we do not attempt a full-scale cost-benefit analysis of SIB programs, we do explore how such financial instruments operate and their most evident advantages and disadvantages. Our review finds that SIB projects are designed to promote financial investments in low-income communities while concurrently shifting service delivery, data gathering, and evaluation processes to the private sector. Thus, in the current policy landscape, SIBs are poised to substantially alter how public resources are deployed to address social issues. (author abstract)
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Executive Summary

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