nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2016‒09‒25
twenty-one papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. No student left behind? Evidence from the Programme for School Guidance in Spain By J. Ignacio García-Pérez; Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo
  2. Does it pay to study abroad? Evidence from Poland By Jacek Liwiński
  3. Lost in Transition: The Influence of Locus of Control on Delaying Educational Decisions By Jaik, Katharina; Wolter, Stefan C.
  4. The Short-Term Effects of School Consolidation on Student Achievement: Evidence of Disruption? By Beuchert, Louise Voldby; Humlum, Maria Knoth; Nielsen, Helena Skyt; Smith, Nina
  5. The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement By Woessmann, Ludger
  6. The massification of higher education in the UK: Aspects of service quality By Mihalis Giannakis; Nicola Bullivant
  7. Ability Tracking and Social Capital in China’s Rural Secondary School System By Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
  8. Mentoring Disadavantaged Youths during School-to-work Transition: Evidence from Germany By Bernhard Boockmann; Sebastían Nielen
  9. The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on the Matriculation of Junior High School Students into Rural China’s High Schools By Fan Li; Yingquan Song; Hongmei Yi; Jianguo Wei; Linxiu Zhang; Yaojiang Shi; James Chu; Natalie Johnson; Prashant Loyalka; Scott Rozelle
  10. Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States By Hanushek, Eric A.; Ruhose, Jens; Woessmann, Ludger
  11. Normative Per Capita Financing of Higher Education By Klyachko, Tatiana
  12. How You Pay Affects How You Do: Financial Aid Type and Student Performance in College By Peter Cappelli; Shinjae Won
  13. Recent Flattening in the Higher Education Wage Premium: Polarization, Skill Downgrading, or Both? By Valletta, Robert G.
  14. Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice By Gabrielle Fack; Julien Grenet; Yinghua He
  15. How Does Student Debt Affect Early-Career Retirement Saving? By Matthew S. Rutledge; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Francis M. Vitagliano
  16. How to Measure the Local Economic Impact of Universities? Methodological Overview By Kotosz, Balázs; Lukovics, Miklós; Molnár, Gabriella; Zuti, Bence
  17. The Timing of Teenage Births and the Signaling Value of a High School Degree By Danielle H. Sandler; Lisa Schulkind
  18. Public, privé et éducation prioritaire : une analyse de la mixité sociale selon le secteur du collège By Pierre Courtioux; Tristan-Pierre Maury
  19. Effects of the Bologna Reform on Educational Outcomes: Micro Evidence from Germany By Hahm, Sabrina; Kluve, Jochen
  20. Educational mismatches for second generation migrants. An analysis of applied science graduates in the Netherlands By Falcke, Swantje; Meng, Christoph; Nollen, Romy
  21. Genes, Education, and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study By Papageorge, Nicholas W.; Thom, Kevin

  1. By: J. Ignacio García-Pérez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of a remedial education programme implemented in Spain between 2005 and 2012 that offered after-school classes for underperforming students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds. We use two different estimation strategies, re-weighting estimators and propensity score matching, and address the existence of selection bias. We find that this programme had a substantial positive effect on children's academic achievement: the probability of falling behind the general progress of the group declined by approximately 5% and mean reading scores increased by approximately 10% of one standard deviation. We also find that a larger exposure to the programme improves students' scores: whereas students in schools that participated in the programme for at most two years do not experience any significant positive effect, those in schools that participated for at least three years did. The programme significantly reduced the probability of belonging to the bottom part of the distribution (by approximately 7.5%) and improved mean scores (by approximately 18% of one standard deviation). Finally, we find that the impact of the programme is much stronger for students in rural schools than for students in urban schools.
    Keywords: Remedial education, PAE, programme evaluation, PISA, selection bias
    JEL: H52 I23 I28 J24
    Date: 2016–09
  2. By: Jacek Liwiński (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: Tertiary education has been perceived in Poland as a key determinant of success in the labour market, as clearly shown by the increase of the net enrolment ratio in tertiary education from 9.8% in 1990 up to 40.9% in 2009. However, as tertiary education becomes more and more popular, it does not signal skills as well as before. It seems that employers may treat students' participation in international exchange programs as a new signaling tool since according to them international students’ skills – both cognitive and non-cognitive – are well above the average. On the other hand, students participating in exchange programs underline a positive impact of studying abroad on their personal development, i.e. on their general skills. Thus, from a theoretical point of view we may expect a positive correlation between studying abroad and wages, which follows from both signaling theory and human capital theory. On the average, 16% of European students report a positive impact of participation in Erasmus exchange program on their incomes, but interestingly, those from the CEE countries, including Polish students, report it much more often. The aim of this paper is to determine whether studying abroad for at least one semester has an impact on wages of higher education graduates in Poland. To answer this question, an extended Mincer wage equation was estimated using OLS on the basis of data from the nationwide tracer survey of Polish graduates conducted in 2007 (Graduate Tracer Study 2007). The hourly net wage rate in the first job after graduating from a higher education institution was the dependent variable in the wage equation. In order to reduce the selection bias, a number of variables were included in the model to reflect students’ abilities and skills, as well as their previous international experience. The results of the analysis show that Polish students who completed at least one semester of studies abroad, enjoy a wage premium of 28% in their first workplace after graduation. Interestingly, this wage premium is particularly high in case of graduates with low abilities and skills and – consequently – of a low social and economic status. This may indicate that studying abroad contributes to a reduction of social inequality.
    Keywords: investment in human capital, studying abroad, international exchange programs, wage premium, wage equation
    JEL: I29 J24 J31
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Jaik, Katharina (University of Zurich); Wolter, Stefan C. (University of Bern)
    Abstract: The transition from compulsory schooling to upper-secondary education is a crucial and frequently difficult step in the educational career of young people. In this study, we analyze the impact of one non-cognitive skill, locus of control, on the intention and the decision to delay the transition into post-compulsory education in Switzerland. We find that locus of control, measured at ages 13–14, has a significant impact on the intention to delay the transition into upper-secondary education. Furthermore, we find that the intention to delay the transition is strongly correlated with the actual delay, measured one and a half years after the intention. Finally, students with the initial intention to delay but successfully continuing into upper-secondary education show a stronger internal locus of control than comparable students who do delay their transition.
    Keywords: locus of control, school-to-school transition, school-to-work transition
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2016–09
  4. By: Beuchert, Louise Voldby (Aarhus University); Humlum, Maria Knoth (Aarhus University); Nielsen, Helena Skyt (Aarhus University); Smith, Nina (Aarhus University)
    Abstract: We exploit variation stemming from school consolidations in Denmark from 2010- 2011 to analyze the impact on student achievement as measured by test scores. For each student we observe enrollment and test scores one year prior to school consolidation and up to four years after. We find that school consolidation has adverse effects on achievement in the short run and that these effects are most pronounced for students exposed to school closings. Furthermore, students initially enrolled in small schools experience the most detrimental effects. The effects appear to weaken over time, suggesting that part of the effect is due to disruption.
    Keywords: school size, school resources, disruption effects, educational production function, test scores
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2016–09
  5. By: Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Students in some countries do far better on international achievement tests than students in other countries. Is this all due to differences in what students bring with them to school – socioeconomic background, cultural factors, and the like? Or do school systems make a difference? This essay argues that differences in features of countries’ school systems, and in particular their institutional structures, account for a substantial part of the cross-country variation in student achievement. It first documents the size and cross-test consistency of international differences in student achievement. Next, it uses the framework of an education production function to provide descriptive analysis of the extent to which different factors of the school system, as well as factors beyond the school system, account for cross-country achievement differences. Finally, it covers research that goes beyond descriptive associations by addressing leading concerns of bias in cross-country analysis. The available evidence suggests that differences in expenditures and class size play a limited role in explaining cross-country achievement differences, but that differences in teacher quality and instruction time do matter. This suggests that what matters is not so much the amount of inputs that school systems are endowed with, but rather how they use them. Correspondingly, international differences in institutional structures of school systems such as external exams, school autonomy, private competition, and tracking have been found to be important sources of international differences in student achievement.
    Keywords: student achievement, international comparison, education production function, schools, education, institutions, external exams, autonomy, competition, private schools, tracking, educational expenditure, teachers, instruction time, TIMSS, PISA JEL Classification: I21, H52, L38, J24, D02
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Mihalis Giannakis (Audencia Recherche - Audencia Business School); Nicola Bullivant (Aston University [Birmingham])
    Abstract: This article explores several aspects of service quality for the provision of higher education. Alongside the trend of the massification of higher education over the past two decades, higher education institutions are required to review quality across a range of outputs, besides teaching and learning. The study was undertaken within the undergraduate placement programme of a UK higher education institution and investigated aspects of service quality through students’ surveys conducted over a five-year period and staff questionnaires and interviews. The findings of the study point out that, amongst other factors, the increase in student numbers implies a deterioration of higher education service quality. Based on the findings, several areas that can potentially improve the quality of higher education services in modern universities are identified.
    Keywords: SERVQUAL, Higher education, Survey,Service quality
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Fan Li; Prashant Loyalka; Hongmei Yi; Yaojiang Shi; Natalie Johnson; Scott Rozelle
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is describe and analyze the relationship between ability tracking and student social capital, in the context of poor students in developing countries. Drawing on the results from a longitudinal study among 1,436 poor students across 132 schools in rural China, we find a significant lack of interpersonal trust and confidence in public institutions among poor rural young adults. We also find that there is a strong correlation between ability tracking during junior high school and levels of social capital. The disparities might serve to further widen the gap between the relatively privileged students who are staying in school and the less privileged students who are dropping out of school. This result suggests that making high school accessible to more students would improve social capital in the general population.
    Keywords: Ability Tracking, Social Capital, Interpersonal Trust, Confidence in Public Institutions, Rural Secondary Schooling
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Bernhard Boockmann; Sebastían Nielen
    Abstract: In the German school and vocational education systems, there is a wide range of support measures during school-to-work transition. We analyze a novel program providing mentoring to low-achieving school leavers. The program bridges different stages and different institutional systems in secondary and post-secondary education. Using high-quality survey and administrative data and propensity score matching, we find some positive effects on the probability of transiting into the dual vocational education system in the intermediate run. Higher program intensity leads to larger treatment effects. Contrary to the goals of the program, however, there is only weak evidence that it accelerates transitions into vocational training immediately after the first school-leaving certificate.
    Keywords: school-to-work transition, mentoring, school drop-out, vocational training
    JEL: J24 I21 I28 C21
    Date: 2016–03
  9. By: Fan Li; Yingquan Song; Hongmei Yi; Jianguo Wei; Linxiu Zhang; Yaojiang Shi; James Chu; Natalie Johnson; Prashant Loyalka; Scott Rozelle
    Abstract: The goal of this study is to examine whether promising a Conditional Cash Transfer (conditional on matriculation) at the start of junior high increases the rate at which disadvantaged students matriculate in to high school. Based on a randomized controlled trial involving 1,418 disadvantaged (economically poor) students in rural China, we find that the promise of a CCT has no effect on increasing high school matriculation for the average disadvantaged student. We do find, however, that providing the CCT increases high school matriculation among the subset of disadvantaged students who overestimate the direct costs of attending high school.
    Keywords: Conditional Cash Transfer, Voucher, Rural Education, Dropout, High School, Randomized Controlled Trial, China
    Date: 2015
  10. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Ruhose, Jens (Leibniz University); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich)
    Abstract: Although many U.S. state policies presume that human capital is important for state economic development, there is little research linking better education to state incomes. We develop detailed measures of skills of workers in each state based on school attainment from census micro data and on cognitive skills from state- and country-of-origin achievement tests. These new measures of knowledge capital permit development accounting analyses calibrated with standard production parameters. We find that differences in knowledge capital account for 20-35 percent of the current variation in per-capita GDP among states, with roughly even contributions by school attainment and cognitive skills. Similar results emerge from growth accounting analyses, emphasizing the importance of appropriately measuring worker skills. These estimates support emphasis on school improvement as a strategy for state economic development.
    Keywords: economic growth, human capital, cognitive skills, schooling, U.S. states JEL Classification: O47, I25, J24
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Klyachko, Tatiana (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The work deals with issues of improving the quality of education in universities as a result of the restructuring of university-based network performance monitoring of higher education institutions.
    Keywords: education, universities, performance monitoring
    Date: 2016–05–30
  12. By: Peter Cappelli; Shinjae Won
    Abstract: Students receiving financial aid pay different amounts for equivalent education and do so in different ways: Grants, which do not have to be repaid, loans, which are paid back in the future, and work-study, pay-as-you-go. We examine the effects of need-based aid independent of study ability on student outcomes – grade point average in particular - controlling for student background and attributes they had prior to college. We also analyze grades within colleges. The results suggest that students receiving need-based grants do significantly better in college than those not receiving financial aid while those paying for college with loans perform significantly worse than students receiving other forms of aid.
    JEL: D03 I21 I23 J38
    Date: 2016–09
  13. By: Valletta, Robert G. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Wage gaps between workers with a college or graduate degree and those with only a high school degree rose rapidly in the United States during the 1980s. Since then, the rate of growth in these wage gaps has progressively slowed, and though the gaps remain large, they were essentially unchanged between 2010 and 2015. I assess this flattening over time in higher education wage premiums with reference to two related explanations for changing U.S. employment patterns: (i) a shift away from middle-skilled occupations driven largely by technological change ("polarization"); and (ii) a general weakening in the demand for advanced cognitive skills ("skill downgrading"). Analyses of wage and employment data from the U.S. Current Population Survey suggest that both factors have contributed to the flattening of higher education wage premiums.
    Keywords: higher education, wages, skills
    JEL: J31 J24 I23
    Date: 2016–09
  14. By: Gabrielle Fack (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Julien Grenet (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Yinghua He (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: We propose novel approaches and tests for estimating student preferences with data from school choice mechanisms, e.g., the Gale-Shapley Deferred Acceptance. Without requiring truth-telling to be the unique equilibrium, we show that the matching is (asymptotically) stable, or justified-envy-free, implying that every student is assigned to her favorite school among those she is qualified for ex post. Having validated the methods in simulations, we apply them to data from Paris and reject truth-telling but not stability. Our estimates are then used to compare the sorting and welfare effects of alternative admission criteria prescribing how schools rank students in centralized mechanisms.
    Keywords: Gale-Shapley Deferred Acceptance Mechanism,School Choice,Stable Matching,Student Preferences,Admission Criteria,C78,D47,D50,D61,I21
    Date: 2015–10
  15. By: Matthew S. Rutledge; Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher; Francis M. Vitagliano
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between student loans and retirement saving behavior by 30-year-old workers. Total outstanding student loan debt in the United States has quintupled since 2004. Rising student debt levels mean that young workers must reduce either their consumption or their saving. To what extent do these workers cut back on retirement saving? Existing studies have lacked adequate data or controls for studying this issue: conventional financial datasets include too few younger households; the study samples used include older households whose student debt may be from their children’s education instead of their own; and many studies lack important controls to capture differences between attendees with more or less student debt. This study uses the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort, a larger sample of workers turning 30, and includes detailed controls including school quality, parental background, and the underlying ability of the college attendee. The analysis focuses on participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and retirement assets as of age 30.
    Date: 2016–09
  16. By: Kotosz, Balázs; Lukovics, Miklós; Molnár, Gabriella; Zuti, Bence
    Abstract: Today, the realization that certain economic units, such as universities or other large tertiary educational institutions have an impact on the economy of their region has gained prominence. There is a growing demand for precise studies on the economic impact of such entities, and the issue has attracted considerable attention in the scientific community. The examination of their economic impact is especially interesting when we compare regions with different levels of development, characterized by a successful international university. The different methods used in the literature render comparisons difficult; therefore, our focus is to recommend a method for investigating universities in different countries. In the absence of regional input-output matrices, a multiplier based approach is suggested for the first and second mission (education and research), while the application of a set of indicators is recommended for the third mission (knowledge transfer-related). There are several substantial problems in assessing the economic impact of universities. First, the definition of impact; second, measuring and estimating first-round expenditures and avoiding double-counting; third, estimating the model parameters (e.g. multipliers); fourth, the quantification of third mission activities. In this paper, we clarify theoretical definitions, resolve some contradictions, and consequently, recommend a feasible method considering the circumstances in Hungary.
    Keywords: impact study, university, Hungary
    JEL: O18 P25 R10
    Date: 2016–02
  17. By: Danielle H. Sandler; Lisa Schulkind
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of high school graduation on later life outcomes for young women who have a child as a teenager. Teenage mothers tend to have poor eco-nomic outcomes later in life. However, the girls who become teenage mothers come from less advantaged backgrounds than those who delay childbearing, making causality diffi-cult to establish. This paper examines the effect of having a child around the time of high school graduation, comparing young mothers who had their child before their expected graduation date to those who had their child after. Examining this question builds our un-derstanding both of the long run consequences of teenage fertility and the signaling value of a high school diploma. We find that girls who give birth during the school year are 7 percent less likely to graduate from high school; however, this has little effect on their eventual labor market outcomes. Despite being much more likely to obtain a high school degree, the control group does not enjoy higher labor earnings later in life, suggesting that the signaling value of a high school degree is zero for this population.
    Date: 2016–01
  18. By: Pierre Courtioux (Edhec Business School - Edhec Business School, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Tristan-Pierre Maury (Edhec Business School - Edhec Business School)
    Abstract: In this article, based on social segregation indices (both entropy and exposure indices) for the period 2004-2014, we compare the level of social diversity at the middle school level between private schools, public schools (excluding priority education) and public schools in priority education zones. For a given level of social diversity, we also look at the way advantaged social background pupils might concentrate in some schools. Our results show that private schools are slightly over-represented among schools located at the extremes of the distribution of entropy levels, that is to say, both among the most "mixed" and the most "segregated" schools. However, the nature of social diversity varies between public, private and priority education schools. At given level of entropy, private schools receive relatively less disadvantaged social backgrounds pupils. Focusing on the most "segregated" schools, the complementary use of the standardized exposure index shows that there is a tendency to separate students with advantaged social background and other students in private schools, as well as in public schools (excluding priority education). On the contrary, schools in priority education zones are more homogeneous with a large proportion of disadvantaged social group's pupils.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, sur la base d'indices statistiques de ségrégation (indices d'entropie et d'exposition) portant sur la période 2004-2014, nous analysons et comparons le degré de mixité sociale des établissements appartenant au secteur privé, au secteur public hors éducation prioritaire et au secteur public relevant de l'éducation prioritaire. Nous regardons également à niveau de mixité sociale donné si les élèves très favorisés restent fortement concentrés dans certains établissements ou non. Nos résultats montrent que le secteur privé est légèrement surreprésenté parmi les établissements situés aux extrêmes de la distribution des niveaux entropie, c'est-à-dire à la fois parmi les plus « mixtes » et parmi les plus « ségrégés ». Cependant, la nature de cette mixité varie selon le secteur. A niveau donné de mixité sociale, le secteur privé accueille relativement moins d'élèves d'origines sociales défavorisées. En se concentrant sur les établissements les plus « ségrégés », l'utilisation complémentaire de l'indice d'exposition normalisé montre qu'il existe dans le secteur privé et public hors éducation prioritaire, une tendance à la séparation des élèves « très favorisés » et des autres groupes. Au contraire, le secteur de l'éducation prioritaire est homogène et concentre en grande majorité des groupes sociaux défavorisés.
    Keywords: priority education policy,social diversity,segregation,secondary education,private school,collège,mixité sociale,enseignement privé,éducation prioritaire
    Date: 2016–06
  19. By: Hahm, Sabrina (Humboldt University Berlin); Kluve, Jochen (Humboldt University Berlin, RWI)
    Abstract: The Bologna Process aimed at harmonizing European higher education systems and at increasing their efficiency. This paper analyzes impacts of the Bologna Reform for Germany by using unique micro data from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). We estimate treatment effects on the probability to graduate within instructional time, on standardized study duration, and on final overall grades. Variation in treatment introduction over time and across departments generates exogenous assignment of students into a treatment (Bachelor) and control group (Diploma). We account for potentially remaining selection bias by estimating a 2SLS model using the share of first-year Bachelor students among all students as an instrument. Our empirical results are robust across specifications and sample stratifications and indicate the following: the Bologna reform led to a significant and sizeable increase in the probability of graduating within planned instructional time; it also significantly decreased standardized study duration. At the same time, overall final grades are significantly worse in the treatment group.
    Keywords: Bologna process, education policy, university reform, impact analysis, instrumental variables
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2016–09
  20. By: Falcke, Swantje; Meng, Christoph (ROA / Education and occupational career); Nollen, Romy
    Abstract: Educational mismatches, i.e. diferences between the education attained and required for a job have been found to negatively affect earnings and job satisfaction and thus lead to a lower return to education. In this paper we aim to see whether immigrants are more prone to educational mismatches and unemployment than their native counterparts. Using a cross-sectional data set among recent applied science graduates in the Netherlands between 2006 and 2014 we are able to look at a very homogeneous group where possible differences between immigrants and natives cannot be explained by differences in the quality of education or language capabilities. The results of our multinomial logit regressions suggest that an ethnic penalty in educational mismatches and unemployment exists for western as well as non-western immigrants, being more severe for non-western than western immigrants. Immigrants are less likely to be correctly matched than Dutch natives and more likely to be unemployed, where the likelihood of being unemployed is even higher for non-western immigrants. Furthermore non-western immigrants are more likely to experience a mismatch in content and level than Dutch natives.
    Keywords: immigrants, educational mismatch, unemployment, ethnic penalty
    JEL: J15 J24
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Papageorge, Nicholas W. (Johns Hopkins University); Thom, Kevin (New York University)
    Abstract: Recent advances have led to the discovery of specific genetic variants that predict educational attainment. We study how these variants, summarized as a genetic score variable, are associated with human capital accumulation and labor market outcomes in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). We demonstrate that the same genetic score that predicts education is also associated with higher wages, but only among individuals with a college education. Moreover, the genetic gradient in wages has grown in more recent birth cohorts, consistent with interactions between technological change and labor market ability. We also show that individuals who grew up in economically disadvantaged households are less likely to go to college when compared to individuals with the same genetic score, but from higher-SES households. Our findings provide support for the idea that childhood SES is an important moderator of the economic returns to genetic endowments. Moreover, the finding that childhood poverty limits the educational attainment of high-ability individuals suggests the existence of unrealized human potential.
    Keywords: human capital, inequality, education, genes
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2016–09

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