Ownership variation in violated regulations and national care standards: Evidence from social care providers

To meet the growing demand for social care, these services are provisioned in quasi-markets, in which for-profit, public, and third sector providers compete for social care contracts. Existing research has investigated ownership variation in quality and performance metrics, but little is known about how ownership influences regulation outcomes. To address this research gap, we manually coded publicly available inspection reports of social care providers regulated by the Care Inspectorate in Scotland and created a novel dataset enabling analysis of ownership variation in violations of ‘Requirements for Care Service’ regulations and ‘National Care Standards’ over an entire inspection year (n=4,178). Using negative binomial and logistic regression models, we find that for-profit providers receive more non-enforceable violations (national care standards) relative to other providers. For-profit providers were also more likely to violate enforceable outcomes (regulations), but the strength of association was smaller, and relative to third sector providers, not statistically significant.