nep-dev New Economics Papers
on Development
Issue of 2018‒09‒03
seventeen papers chosen by
Jacob A. Jordaan
Universiteit Utrecht

  1. Measuring Access to Nutritious Diets in Africa: Novel Price Indexes for Diet Diversity and the Cost of Nutrient Adequacy By Masters, William A.; Bai, Yan; Herforth, Anna; Sarpong, Daniel; Mishili, Fulgence; Kinabo, Joyce; Coates, Jennifer C.
  2. The Green Revolution and Infant Mortality in India By Bharadwaj, Prashant; Fenske, James; Ali Mirza, Rinchan; Kala, Namrata
  3. Animal sourced foods and child stunting By Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John
  4. The Impacts of Household Water Quality Testing and Information on Safe Water Behaviors: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ghana By Okyere, Charles Yaw; Pangaribowo, Evita Hanie; Asante, Felix Ankomah; von Braun, Joachim
  5. Food Insecurity Measures: Experience-Based Versus Nutrition-Based Evidence From India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia By Broussard, Nzinga H.; Tandon, Sharad
  6. Gender differentiation in intergenerational care-giving and migration choices By Stark, Oded; Cukrowska-Torzewska, Ewa
  7. Food System Transformation in Mozambique: An Assessment of Changing Diet Quality in the context of a Rising Middle Class By Smart, Jenny Cairns; Tschirley, David; Smart, Francis
  8. Can social safety nets protect public health? The effect of India’s workfare and foodgrain subsidy programmes on anaemia By Sudha Narayanan, Nicolas Gerber, Udayan Rathore and Karthikeya Naraparaju
  9. Conflict Heterogeneity in Africa By Carolyn Chisadza; Matthew Clance
  10. From agricultural to economic growth: Targeting investments across Africa By Getahun, Tigabu; Baumüller, Heike; Nigussie, Yalemzewd
  11. Impacts of Adaptation to Climate Change on farmers’ income in the Savana Region of Togo By Mikémina, Pilo; Gerber, Nicolas; Wünscher, Tobias
  12. The Effects of Land Markets on Resource Allocation and Agricultural Productivity By Chaoran Chen; Diego Restuccia; Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis
  13. Structural change, productivity growth and labour market turbulence in Africa By Mensah, Emmanuel; Owusu, Solomon; Foster-McGregor, Neil; Szirmai, Adam
  14. Yield effects of selected agronomic innovation packages in maize cropping systems of six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa By Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan; Gaiser, Thomas
  15. The Effectiveness of Development Aid for Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa By Ssozi, John; Asongu, Simplice; Amavilah, Voxi
  16. Gender Segregation in Education and Its Implications for Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from India By Sahoo, Soham; Klasen, Stephan
  17. Mother‘s Empowerment and Child Malnutrition: Evidence from Pakistan By Jamal, Haroon

  1. By: Masters, William A.; Bai, Yan; Herforth, Anna; Sarpong, Daniel; Mishili, Fulgence; Kinabo, Joyce; Coates, Jennifer C.
    Abstract: Policies and programs often aim to improve the affordability of nutritious diets, but existing food price indexes are based on observed quantities which may not meet nutritional goals. To measure changes in the cost of reaching international standards of diet quality, we introduce a new Cost of Diet Diversity index based on consuming at least five different food groups as defined by the widely-used Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W) indicator, and compare those results with the cost of foods needed to meet an adult woman’s estimated average requirements of essential nutrients and dietary energy. Using national average monthly market price data for Ghana from 2009 through 2014, we find that the relative cost of reaching the MDD-W standard fluctuates seasonally and since mid-2010 has risen about 10 percent per year faster than inflation due to rising relative prices for fruit and fish, while the cost of nutrient adequacy rose even faster due primarily to increase cost of foods rich in vitamin A and calcium. Similar data for Tanzania from 2011 through 2015 show small increases in 2011 and 2012 but stable prices thereafter. Our methods can show where and when nutritious diets are increasingly (un)affordable, and which nutritional criteria account for the change. The specific foods included in each index depend on national price monitoring systems, but the method is generalizable to other contexts for monitoring, evaluation, and assessment of changing food environments.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2017–11–13
  2. By: Bharadwaj, Prashant (University of California San Diego); Fenske, James (University of Warwick); Ali Mirza, Rinchan (University of Namur); Kala, Namrata (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We use a difference in differences approach to show that the adoption of High Yielding Varieties (HYV) reduced infant mortality in India. This holds even comparing children of the same mother. Children of mothers whose characteristics predict higher child mortality, rural children, boys, and low-caste children benefit more from HYV adoption. We find no obvious evidence that parental investments respond to HYV adoption. We find little evidence of selection into child bearing in response to HYV adoption.
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Headey, Derek; Hirvonen, Kalle; Hoddinott, John
    Abstract: Stunting affects 160 million pre-school children around the world, and imposes significant costs on a child’s health, cognitive development, schooling and economic performance. Stunting in early childhood has been linked to poor dietary diversity, notably low intake of animal-sourced foods (ASFs) rich in high quality protein and other growth-stimulating nutrients. Surprisingly, however, very little economic research has focused on ASFs and child growth. In this paper we redress this omission through an analysis of 112,553 children aged 6-23 months from 46 countries. We first document distinctive patterns of ASF consumption among children in different regions, particularly highly variable patterns of dairy consumption, low consumption of eggs and meat, and surprisingly frequent consumption of fish in several poor regions of Africa and Asia. We then examine how ASF consumption is associated with child stunting in multivariate models saturated with control variables. We find strong associations with a generic ASF consumption indicator as well as with fish and dairy consumption. Finally, we explore why ASF consumption is low but also so variable. We show that non-tradable ASFs (fresh milk, eggs) are a very expensive source of calories in low income countries, and that caloric prices of these foods are strongly associated with children’s consumption patterns. A host of other demand-side factors are also important, but the strong influence of prices implies an important role for agricultural policies – in production, marketing and trade – to improve the accessibility and affordability of ASFs in poorer countries.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2017–12–13
  4. By: Okyere, Charles Yaw; Pangaribowo, Evita Hanie; Asante, Felix Ankomah; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: Households in developing countries face an enormous set of health risks from using contaminated water sources. In 2014, a group of 512 households relying on unimproved water, sanitation and hygiene practices in the Greater Accra region of Ghana were randomly selected to participate in the intervention on water quality self-testing and to receive water quality improvement messages (information). The treatment group was separated into two groups: (1) a school children intervention group and (2) an adult household members intervention group, to identify the role of intra-household decision making or resource allocation in the delivery of water quality information. The comparison group neither participated in the water quality self-testing nor received information. The impacts of the experiment are estimated using intention-to-treat (ITT), instrumental variable (IV) and differences-in-differences (DiD) estimators. Participation rate, which is used as a proxy for uptake, is higher among the school children intervention group in comparison to the adult intervention group. The results show that the household water quality testing and information experiment increase the choice of improved water sources and other safe water behaviors. The study implies that household water quality testing and information could be used as “social marketing” strategy in achieving safe water behaviors. The school children intervention group is more effective in the delivery of water quality information, thereby making a strong case of using school children as “agents of change” in improving safe water behaviors. The study also finds limited evidence of gender differentiated impacts based on the gender of the participants, especially in terms of improved water source choices. The findings have implications on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly on improvement in safe water behaviors and microbial analysis of water quality by providing practical experiences from resource poor settings.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2017–03–31
  5. By: Broussard, Nzinga H.; Tandon, Sharad
    Abstract: Using data from three household surveys in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and India, this report compares two commonly used measures of household food insecurity: a measure of caloric consumption (reported undernourishment) and an experiential measure. In the second measure, a single affirmative response to whether the house - hold experienced certain conditions or behaviors due to insufficient food designates a household as food-insecure (experiential-based measure). The authors demonstrate that a significant share of households categorized as undernourished because their caloric consumption is below 2,100 calories do not report experiencing any form of food insecurity. This finding is robust across different experiential food security metrics and different contexts. For India, which used a single indicator of experi - enced food insecurity, the experiential measure had the least overlap with the caloric consumption measure compared with the measure used in the other two country case studies. Although the measure from the Ethiopian survey, which contained nine expe - riential questions, had the most overlap with the caloric consumption measure of food insecurity compared with the measures used in India and Bangladesh, there was still substantial misclassification of food security status among households. These findings suggest that even if the overall prevalence of food security is similar when estimated with experiential and other measures of food security, experiential measures appear to be classifying a different subset of the population as food-insecure.
    Keywords: Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2016–12–01
  6. By: Stark, Oded; Cukrowska-Torzewska, Ewa
    Abstract: The dramatic global food price upsurges of 2007/2008 and the resurgence of 2010/2011 have kept the welfare effects of food price shocks at the epicentre of policy discussions worldwide. Studies have found heterogeneous impacts, but empirically little is known in Nigeria. The key objectives of this study are to examine the welfare, i.e. food quantity consumption, dietary diversity, and economic welfare effects of food price spikes among households in Nigeria. Using the 2012/2013 and 2015/2016 Household Survey Panel Data, the linear individual (fixed) effects models were estimated while controlling for participation in safety net interventions and other factors to achieve the stated objectives. Findings suggest that higher spike in the price of cereals consistently has negative effect on food quantity (including calories) consumed, dietary diversity, and economic welfare of households, spikes of price of other staples, animal proteins, fats and oils, fruits and vegetables exert heterogeneous influence. Female headed households advance calorie consumption and dietary variety. Findings suggest that food distribution may be more effective in improving welfare of households than direct cash transfers. Efforts to mitigate extreme spikes in the prices of staples (especially cereals) are relevant for improved food security, nutrition and overall household welfare. However, if policy actions are complemented with food distribution and sensitively guided welfare related gender interventions, more improvements for livelihoods can be achieved.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Health Economics and Policy, Institutional and Behavioral Economics
    Date: 2018–03–29
  7. By: Smart, Jenny Cairns; Tschirley, David; Smart, Francis
    Abstract: Robust income growth combined with the highest urban population growth in the world is driving very rapid changes in the food system of Sub-Saharan Africa. Demand is increasing for higher quality foods, including fresh produce, meat and dairy products as well as more processed foods, with poorer nutritional value. The overweight and obesity epidemic that first began among developed nations is not sparing the expanding middle classes within developing countries, leading to a double burden of over and under nourished populations in these areas. As rapidly expanding towns and cities proliferate across Sub-Saharan Africa, urban areas can also become deserts for fresh or less-processed nutritious foods. Urban farming has been one way that the food desert challenge in urban areas is ameliorated, and in Mozambique, even in the largest city center of Maputo, one in ten households owns their own farm land. In the context of rapid urbanization and income growth in Mozambique, this paper finds that both growing incomes and the consumption of processed foods are associated with a worsening of negative factors in the diet. Furthermore, urbanization, controlling for income, is associated more strongly with a worsening of negative factors than with an improvement in positive factors in the diet. However the effect on nutrition of owning one’s own farm, controlling for the share of others in the household’s area that have a farm, is positive and significant for urban households, primarily driven by these households purchasing fewer unhealthy foods. These findings have important implications concerning the role of urban farming for improving dietary quality.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety
    Date: 2018–08–07
  8. By: Sudha Narayanan, Nicolas Gerber, Udayan Rathore and Karthikeya Naraparaju
    Abstract: Can large-scale social safety nets be nutrition sensitive even if they do not explicitly incorporate health and nutrition as programmatic goals? This paper focuses on the consequences of a countrywide guaranteed workfare programme (MGNREGA) and subsidised food distribution scheme (PDS) in India for the prevalence of anaemia, examining whether individuals in districts with a broader reach of these mega-programmes are less likely to be anaemic. Using an Instrumental Variable (IV) approach to address the endogeneity of programme scale, we find that an individual residing in a district where the programmes have broader reach is less likely to suffer from all forms of anaemia and has a lower haemoglobin deficit from the benchmark suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – ranging between 0.91 to 6.2 percentage points for a 10 percentage point expansion in programme scale. While the PDS seems to be more effective in reducing the incidence of mild anaemia than moderate or severe anaemia, while the strength of effects for MGNREGA seem to be the least for mild. These are catch-all effects that represent partial and general equilibrium impacts through multiple pathways. Programme interaction effects suggest the MGNREGA and PDS may be substitutes – associated improvements in anaemia for regions with higher PDS access (MGNREGA participation) are more pronounced when the scale of MGNREGA participation (PDS access) is low. There exist nonlinearities in these relationships, with the efficacy of both programmes varying across scales of implementation.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2017–10–19
  9. By: Carolyn Chisadza (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa); Matthew Clance (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
    Abstract: One of the Sustainable Development Goals is to significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere. The economic development literature widely concurs that conflicts have adverse economic consequences that contribute to poverty, disinvestment, and lower human capital leading to widespread inequality and lower economic growth. As such, understanding the nature of conflict has been an important focus for political leaders, policymakers and researchers alike. However, the existing literature does not typically distinguish between the types of conflict, and empirical evidence relies on the assumption that effects are similar across the world. Using panel data analysis and a comprehensive disaggregated georeferenced conflict dataset from 1997 to 2016, we find significant evidence of heterogeneity in the predictors' effects on different types of conflicts in Africa.
    Keywords: conflict, regional heterogeneity, panel data
    JEL: C33 H56 O10 O43
    Date: 2018–08
  10. By: Getahun, Tigabu; Baumüller, Heike; Nigussie, Yalemzewd
    Abstract: This paper examines whether investment in the agriculture and food sectors in Africa significantly increases overall economic growth and, hence, reduces food and nutrition insecurity. To this end, the study examines the causal link between agricultural growth, food production, quality of governance, and overall economic growth using panel data compiled from 44 African countries for a 53-year period from 1961 to 2014. The estimation result from the fully modified least squares, the panel cointegration, and Granger causality tests suggest that agricultural growth, government commitment, and quality of governance Granger causes overall economic growth. The study also identifies the 10 African countries where investment in the agriculture and food sectors is expected to yield the highest returns and the 10 African countries having the lowest returns in terms of reducing food insecurity and poverty. The result indicates that Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, and Sierra Leone are the top 10 African countries where such an investment is expected to yield the highest returns. Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Libya, Mauritania, and Somalia are the bottom 10 countries where such investment is expected to yield the lowest return.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2018–03–28
  11. By: Mikémina, Pilo; Gerber, Nicolas; Wünscher, Tobias
    Abstract: West African farmers are among those most likely to suffer from climate change, partly due to the agro-climatic characteristics of the regional system and to their limited scope for coping with shocks. Climate change adaptation has thus been touted as a necessary path for rural poverty reduction and development in the region. Yet, do farm households who implemented climate change adaptation earn higher income compare to those who did not? We attempt to answer this question in the context of crop and livestock income in the Savana region of Togo. To that end, we build a bio-economic model based on farm household model theory. Using survey data collected from a representative sample of 450 savanna farm households of the agricultural year 2014/2015, we identify farm-household types through cluster analysis and apply them in the simulation model. From the simulation results, we conclude that at their current costs, soil and water conservation techniques and irrigation practives can on average provide higher income even under climate change, since they are able to mitigate at least 63 % of the impacts of climate change on crop and livestock income. By contrast, reducing the quantity of applied fertilizer, mentioned as an adaptation option by farmers, increases the farm households’ vulnerability to climate change. The policy message we draw from this study is to encourage Soil and Water Conservation techniques and sustainable irrigation as sound strategies for higher income under climate change in the region. These are “no regret options” with a positive impact on livelihoods while preserving the resource base.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Consumer/Household Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–03–29
  12. By: Chaoran Chen (National University of Singapore); Diego Restuccia (University of Toronto); Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis (MOVE-UAB and Barcelona GSE)
    Abstract: We assess the role of land markets on factor misallocation in Ethiopia—where land is owned by the state—by exploiting policy-driven variation in land rentals across time and space arising from a recent land certification reform. Our main finding from detailed micro data is that land rentals significantly reduce misallocation and increase agricultural productivity. These effects are nonlinear across farms—impacting more those farms farther away from their efficient operational scale. The effect of land rentals on productivity is 70 percent larger when controlling for non-market rentals—those with a pre-harvest rental rate of zero. Land rentals significantly increase the adoption of new technologies, especially fertilizer use.
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Mensah, Emmanuel (UNU-MERIT); Owusu, Solomon (UNU-MERIT); Foster-McGregor, Neil (UNU-MERIT); Szirmai, Adam (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper combines a standard decomposition of labour productivity with a decomposition of labour market turbulence to study the role of structural change and job reallocation in the economic growth performance of African countries over the past fifty years using an updated and expanded version of the Africa Sector Database (ASD) developed by the Groningen Growth and Development Centre (GGDC). The results show that productivity growth has been generally low since the 1960s with moderate contributions from structural change across the entire period. Although productivity growth from structural change is generally low, a regional comparison shows that structural change is more rapid in East Africa than in the other regions of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While structural change accounts for more than half of the labour productivity growth in East Africa, within-sector productivity growth accounts for more than half of the labour productivity growth in West Africa and Southern Africa. Structural change is characterised by a net reallocation of workers across different sectors. As such, we compute the labour market turbulence effect of structural change. The turbulence effect of structural change has been mostly felt in the Service Sector due to volatile demand and the high level of informality. The paper further makes the first attempt to estimate the effect of labour market flexibility on job reallocation in Africa. The results show that more rigid labour markets reduce job reallocation across sectors impeding structural change and productivity growth in Africa.
    Keywords: Labour Market Turbulence, Productivity Growth, Structural Change, Africa
    JEL: O11 O14 O41 O43 O57 J21
    Date: 2018–06–15
  14. By: Eyshi Rezaei, Ehsan; Gaiser, Thomas
    Abstract: Implementation of suitable innovation packages into cropping systems is required to address the issues of food security and improvement of the crop yield in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, quantification of the effects of innovation packages such as increase in fertilizer application rates, introduction of high yielding cultivars or change in farming practices such as sowing date and irrigation, generally requires substantial investments, in particular the quantification at large scales. Crop models are widely employed to estimate the impacts of agronomic decisions on cropping systems and to detect the most suitable areas for their implementation. The main goal of the study is to quantify the effects of a) change in nitrogen fertilization rate, b) adjustment of sowing date, c) implementation of new cultivars, and d) supplementary irrigation on maize cropping systems across six African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. For this purpose, 30 years (1980-2010) of climate data are used as well as soil and management information obtained from global datasets at 0.5° x 0.5° spatial resolution. The nitrogen and cultivar packages were tested for all six countries whereas the changes in sowing dates (Ghana and Malawi) and the irrigation (Ethiopia) package were used in specific countries only. The crop modelling framework SIMPLACE was used to test the effects of innovation packages at the country level. The model results indicated that the agronomic innovation packages could improve maize yield by 1 t ha-1 to 2.3 t ha-1 in the studied countries. The magnitude of the yield improvement is country and package specific. The largest maize yield improvements across the packages were obtained by increase in nitrogen application rate, assuming that other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium are not limiting crop growth and yield. However, in some cases a combination of the agronomic innovation packages showed the highest maize yield. We conclude that it is vital to combine the agronomic packages to fill the gap between potential and current yields of maize in Africa. This will require appropriate incentives and investments in extension services, fertilizer distribution networks, and farmer capacity building.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2018–05–18
  15. By: Ssozi, John; Asongu, Simplice; Amavilah, Voxi
    Abstract: Purpose: Agriculture is the major source of livelihood for the majority population in Sub-Saharan Africa but its productivity is not only low it has started showing signs of decline since 2012. The paper seeks to find out whether official development assistance for agriculture is effective. Design/Methodology/Approach: The data for development assistance for agriculture are broken down into the major agricultural sectors in receiving countries. The empirical evidence is based on the two-step system Generalized Method of Moments to assess the degree of responsiveness of agricultural productivity to development assistance. Findings: There is a positive relationship between development assistance and agricultural productivity in general. However, when broken down into the major agricultural recipient sectors, there is a substitution effect between food crop production and industrial crop production. Better institutions and economic freedom are found to enable agricultural productivity growth, and to increase the effectiveness of development assistance. The structural economic transformation associated with agricultural development assistance is also found to be weak. Practical Implications: Allocation of development assistance for agriculture is primarily determined by need, although expected effectiveness also increases the assistance receipts. Agricultural assistance policies could focus more on building productive capacity to reduce the need while boosting effectiveness. Originality: Breaking down data into agricultural recipient sectors, and controlling for the potential spurious correlation under the assumption that more development assistance could be allocated where agricultural productivity is already increasing due to some other factors.
    Keywords: Official Development Assistance; Agriculture; Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F35 F50 O10 O55 Q10
    Date: 2018–01
  16. By: Sahoo, Soham (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore); Klasen, Stephan (University of Göttingen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates gender-based segregation across different fields of study at the post-secondary level of schooling, and how that affects subsequent labour market outcomes of men and women. Using a nationally representative longitudinal data-set from India, we provide evidence that there is substantial intra-household gender disparity in the choice of study stream at the higher-secondary level of education. A household fixed effects regression shows that girls are 20 percentage points less likely than boys to study in technical streams, namely science (STEM) and commerce, vis-à-vis arts or humanities. This gender disparity is not driven by gender specific differences in mathematical ability, as the gap remains large and significant even after controlling for individuals' past test scores. Our further analysis on working-age individuals suggests that technical stream choice at higher-secondary level significantly affects the gender gap in labour market outcomes in adult life, including labour force participation, nature of employment, and earnings. Thus our findings reveal how gender disparity in economic outcomes at a later stage in the life-course is affected by gendered trajectories set earlier in life, especially at the school level.
    Keywords: post-secondary education, STEM, gender, labour market, India
    JEL: I20 J16 J24
    Date: 2018–07
  17. By: Jamal, Haroon
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between mothers’ socioeconomic empowerment and malnutrition of children under age five in the context of Pakistan. At the first step, a composite empowerment index is developed by incorporating various characteristics of mothers; such as educational attainment, labor force participation, involvement in household decisions, asset ownership, freedom of movement and perceptions regarding domestic violence. Instead of using additive methods or assigning subjective weights to different aspects of mothers’ empowerment, statistical weights,derived though Principal Component Analysis technique are applied. Nationally representative rich data of Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13 is used to quantify the nature and direction of relationship between empowerment and child malnutrition in terms of stunting, wasting and underweights in a multivariate logistic regression framework.The estimated results indicate that empowerment is relatively more important than mothers’ health and household poverty in determining nutritional status of children.
    Keywords: Mothers’ Empowerment Index, Principal Component Analysis, Child Malnutrition, Logistic Regression, Pakistan
    JEL: C25 I12 J16
    Date: 2018–07

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