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Management Practices of Social Wealth Funds

USC Doctoral Dissertation Committee: Helena Seli (Chair), Lawrence O. Picus, Jennifer Phillips

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted state budgets, forcing the states to explore reserve funds to balance the budget, and at the same time, to finance public programs such as K-12 education, healthcare, and medical research. Social Wealth Funds (SWF), a type of public fund that operates out of 12 states, is uniquely positioned to provide the supplemental funding. The purpose of the study was to conduct a qualitative inquiry to understand how the SWF managers’ knowledge, motivation and organizational policies influenced their effectiveness to maximize Return on Investment (ROI). The study participants were the SWF managers based in the United States. Data was collected from the interviews with the SWF managers and based on the analysis of the public documents related to SWFs. Contrary to the extant literature, the findings demonstrated that SWFs can serve as an effective stabilization fund. Furthermore, the interview data corroborated that political economy influenced the intrinsic motivation of the US-based SWF managers and their strategies to diversify portfolios. The most significant recommendation that emerged from this study is the states’ need to provide adequate resources to SWF managers and use evidence-based methods to assess and amend the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Keywords: Social wealth fund, political economy, public policy, intrinsic motivation




© 2013 by Jay Maharjan. All rights reserved.

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