I Social Impact Bond: Un’analisi empirica del design contrattuale e delle condizioni finanziarie

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Social Impact Bonds: An empirical analysis of contract design and financial conditions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] Social finance, which has finally found acceptance also in the terminology of the legislator, can play a fundamental function in helping cooperatives and social enterprises to free themselves from the financial dependence of the public sector. Financial innovation provides nonprofits and social enterprises with a series of tools (e.g. crowdfunding, mini-bonds, social impact bonds) and operators (funds, incubators, venture capitalists) that can allow adequate diversification of funding sources together with the possibility of experimenting with forms of innovation in the provision of services. Among the most promising tools, Social Impact Bonds have certainly been at the center of the debate for several years. Academics and policymakers highlight its great virtues, as SIBs allow to attract private capital that is remunerated only for social impact results achieved; some report their potential limitations, such as public - private partnership schemes that would extract financial returns from conditions of social distress. However, the market interest was certainly not as great as the debate between SIB proponents and opponents. Since 2011, the date of the first SIB issued, 107 SIBs have been issued worldwide (as of 31/12/2017) which leaves some doubts on the scalability of this scheme. In fact, the obstacles to the spread of SIB are numerous: the difficulty of identifying objective and measurable social impact parameters; contractual complexity; risk aversion of the PA and third sector operators. These factors greatly affect the propensity of institutional investors to invest in SIBs and therefore limit their spread. Many studies have focused on the economic and financial aspects of SIBs, in particular on the expected return. However, since these investors are interested in a blended value of the investment (therefore both financial and social), it is more interesting to check whether the contractual design plays a role in attracting the interest of the investors or not. In this regard, the agency theory that is used in the economic field to understand contractual relationships in the absence of uniformity of information between the parties comes to our aid. In fact, among the players involved in a SIB, the institutional investor is the least informed on the real probability of success of the project and least equipped with tools for monitoring the work of the service provider.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Social Impact Bonds: An empirical analysis of contract design and financial conditions
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationImpresa Sociale Welfare e Mercato
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Social Impact Bond, Non Profit, investimenti responsabili


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