News - Social Policy Bonds

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This page summarises developments in, and reaction to, the Social Policy Bond idea. This update 23 October 2019

  • 20 March 2019: Given the failure of efforts to address climate change, I have uploaded a new essay suggesting that we issue Environmental Policy Bonds to target all urgent environmental goals, whether or not we now think them to be caused by climate change.

  • 1 January 2018: a short article on Social Policy Bonds and their possible application in India, appears in The Telegraph (india). It is by Ashok Desai and titled Bets on efficiency.

  • 17 February 2017: I have updated my long paper on Social Policy Bonds

  • 9 October 2015: Greg Bearup has written about the genesis of the Social Policy Bond idea, and applications of the non-tradeable version of it in Australia, in this article in the Weekend Australian Magazine, dated 10 October. It's also available as a pdf for download here.

  • 7 June 2015: my name is briefly mentioned (at the five-minute mark) in a tv discussion on applying a non-tradeable variant of Social Policy Bonds to mental health problems in New Zealand. I've updated this page about SIBs to reflect my view that, while they are inferior to Social Policy Bonds, they might be better than existing policy in some circumstances.

  • 26 November 2014: the Kindle version of the definitive book on Social Policy Bonds is now available. It costs around US$4.00.

  • October 2013: Professor Robert Shiller of Yale University, is named as one of the three winners of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics. His Nobel Prize lecture (pdf) delivered on 8 December, mentions Social Policy Bonds. Professor Shiller has for many years encouraged my work on Social Policy Bonds, beginning in late 1996 when he sent me this letter.

  • 3 May 2012: An audio talk by Professor Robert Shiller at the London School of Economics, in which Social Policy Bonds are briefly mentioned, is available here.

  • 18 June 2010: I met Toby Eccles, of Social Finance, a think-tank in London, to discuss Social Policy Bonds and Social Impact Bonds.

  • 15 June 2010: I was interviewed about Social Policy Bonds (and other subjects) on a live local community radio show in Wales.

  • Hugh Barnard mentions Social Policy Bonds as a way of improving the urban environment in Sense and Sensor Networks (pdf), May 2009 (link inactive as at June 2018).

  • Social Policy Bonds are mentioned briefly in this paper, published January 2008, about research into obstetric drugs.

  • June 2007: Will Ware thinks the Social Policy Bond idea could be applied to technological challenges, such as developing better batteries.

  • 16 November 2005: an article about Climate Stability Bonds appeared in the New Zealand Herald, Auckland. (A slightly updated version appeared on 13 December in the Dominion Post, Wellington.)

  • 29 January 2005: my letter about applying Social Policy Bonds to the eradication of third world poverty appears in the online edition of the Economist.

  • A mention of Social Policy Bonds occurs in a paper (88-page pdf file) entitled Information markets to improve policy, by Robert W Hahn, of the AEI-Brookings Center for Regulatory Studies, published in November 2004.

  • 1 July 2003: Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University, included a reference to Social Policy Bonds in his new book The New Financial Order.

  • 28 February 2003: I presented a paper on Climate Stability Bonds to a conference organised by the Institute of Public Affairs, in Melbourne. Click here to see my Powerpoint presentation (ten frames).

  • April 2002: I presented a paper on the application of the Social Policy Bond concept to the environment to a meeting of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. The accompanying 11-frame Powerpoint presentation can be found here.

  • June 2001: Chris Rasch has written an article about applying the Social Policy Bond idea to the funding of open source software development.

  • February 2001: an article by Rob Hosking about the Social Policy Bond concept appears in the National Business Review, New Zealand.

  • An animated internet discussion of the Social Policy Bond concept took place on Nanodot in early 2001.

  • In 1991 the Social Policy Bond concept wins the award for Best Political Social Invention from the Institute of Social Inventions, UK - now the Global Ideas Bank (site inactive December 2013).

  • October 1991: I present a paper on Social Policy Bonds at the University of Cambridge Land Economy Society. The written version was published by the University in 1992.

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