UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Public value

Creating a new framework to understand and recognise where value is really created in economies, and where value is being extracted.


In standard economic theory, public policy is justified only if clear market failures are first identified. In this context ‘public goods’ (non-rival, non-excludable activities like clean air, or national defence) are corrections that are made to fix the existence of ‘positive and negative externalities’, such as pollution. While such market failures exist—and need fixing—in this research area, we study whether a broader concept is needed to guide more ambitious policies, similar to those that led to the creation of the welfare state and the mission to put a man on the moon.

Policy implications

IIPP aims to create a new framework for public policy grounded in concepts of public value and public purpose—and the implications of such value creation for production and growth. 

Our work will involve research, the development of new concepts and learning, and the generation of insights into how we might build capacity within the public sector to adapt to new ways of working, influenced by these ideas. 





Working papers

 View all IIPP publications

News and events