Each year, governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars aimed at addressing social problems.
In most cases, we have no idea how effective these dollars have been in achieving their goals: performance is rarely assessed, and measurement tends to focus on tracking the number of people served or the quantity of services provided rather than the outcomes that are achieved.
Social impact bonds are a promising new approach to financing government social programs. By combining performance-based payments and market discipline, pay-for-success contracts using social impact bonds have the potential to improve results, overcome barriers to social innovation, and encourage investments in cost-saving preventive services.
Join us for a discussion with Jeffrey Liebman on how social impact bonds and other new strategies are helping governments and the private sector work together to bring about social change.
Jeffrey Liebman, SIB Lab Director:
Jeffrey Liebman is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School where he teaches courses in social policy, public sector economics, and American economic policy. In his research, he studies tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, and income inequality. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman served at OMB, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group. For the past two years, he has been providing pro bono assistance to state and local governments interested in implementing pay for success contracts using social impact bonds.