nep-eur New Economics Papers
on Microeconomic European Issues
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
twenty-one papers chosen by
Giuseppe Marotta
Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia

  1. The Labor Market Returns to 'First in Family' University Graduates By Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna; Henderson, Morag; Shure, Nikki
  2. Unmet Health Care Need and Income-Related Horizontal Equity in Access during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Davillas, Apostolos; Jones, Andrew M.
  3. Organised Labour, Labour Market Imperfections, and Employer Wage Premia By Dobbelaere, Sabien; Hirsch, Boris; Müller, Steffen; Neuschaeffer, Georg
  4. The effect of climate policy on productivity and cost pass-through in the German manufacturing sector By Hintermann, Beat; Zarkovic, Maja; di Maria, Corrado; Wagner, Ulrich J.
  5. The Political Impact of Refugee Migration: Evidence from the Italian Dispersal Policy By Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola
  6. Are Emissions Trading Schemes Cost-effective? By di Maria, Corrado; Zarkovic, Maja; Hintermann, Beat
  7. The Importance of regional Spill-over Effects for Eco-Innovations in German Start-ups By Jens Horbach
  8. Inequality, Relative Deprivation and Financial Distress: Evidence from Swedish Register Data By Roth, Paula
  9. Wasted in waste? The benefits of switching from taxes to Pay-as-you-throw fees: the Italian case By Giovanna Messina; Antonella Tomasi
  10. The Impact of ICTs and Digitalization on Productivity and Labor Share: Evidence from French firms By Cette Gilbert; Nevoux Sandra; Py Loriane
  11. Do Family Policies Reduce Gender Inequality? Evidence from 60 Years of Policy Experimentation By Henrik Kleven; Camille Landais; Johanna Posch; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
  12. Evaluation of the effectiveness of technological platforms as a technology transfer tool: the impact of French Technological Research Institutes on the socio-economic performance of SMEs By Ruben Fotso
  13. First Time Around: Local Conditions and Multi-Dimensional Integration of Refugees By Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara; Felicitas Schikora
  14. Size, heterogeneity and distributional effects of self-employment income tax evasion in Italy By Bazzoli, Martina; Di Caro, Paolo; Figari, Francesco; Fiorio, Carlo V.; Manzo, Marco
  15. Chronic diseases in Italy: Does socioeconomic status carry weight? By Giovanni Crea; Valentina Beretta
  16. Payroll Tax Reductions for Minimum Wage Workers: Relative Labor Cost or Cash Windfall Effects? By Sophie Cottet
  17. Is innovation in ICT valuable for the efficiency of Italian museums? By Calogero Guccio; Marco Ferdinando Martorana; Isidoro Mazza; Giacomo Pignataro; Ilde Rizzo
  18. Scientifico! like Dad: On the Intergenerational Transmission of STEM Education By Diana Chise; Margherita Fort; Chiara Monfardini
  19. A Random Forest a Day Keeps the Doctor Away By Markus Eyting
  20. Labor Market Integration of Low-Educated Refugees: RCT Evidence from an Ambitious Integration Program in Sweden By Dahlberg, Matz; Egebark, Johan; Vikman, Ullrika; Özcan, Gülay
  21. Wages, Hires, and Labor Market Concentration By Ioana Marinescu; Ivan Ouss; Louis-Daniel Pape

  1. By: Adamecz-Völgyi, Anna (UCL Institute of Education); Henderson, Morag (UCL Institute of Education); Shure, Nikki (University College London)
    Abstract: We exploit linked survey-administrative data from England to examine how first in family (FiF) graduates (those whose parents do not have university degrees) fare on the labor market. We find that among graduate women, FiF graduates earn 8.3% less on average than graduate women whose parents have a university degree. For men, we find no such difference. A decomposition of the difference between FiF and non-FiF graduate women reveals that prior academic attainment, whether they attended an 'elite' institution, and whether they needed their degree for their job fully explains this gap. We also estimate returns to graduation for potential FiF and non-FiF young people. We find that although the wage returns to graduation are higher among FiF women compared to women who match their parents with a degree, the negative effects of coming from a lower educated family are so large that they counteract the high returns of graduation.
    Keywords: socioeconomic gaps, intergenerational educational mobility, higher education, entropy balancing, labor market returns, gender economics
    JEL: I24 I26 J24
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Davillas, Apostolos (University of East Anglia); Jones, Andrew M. (University of York)
    Abstract: Using monthly data from the Understanding Society (UKHLS) COVID-19 Survey we analyse the evolution of unmet need and assess how the UK health care system performed against the norm of horizontal equity in health care access during the first wave of COVID-19 wave. Unmet need was most evident for hospital care, and less pronounced for primary health services (medical helplines, GP consultations, local pharmacist advice, over the counter medications and prescriptions). Despite this, there is no evidence that horizontal equity, with respect to income, was violated for NHS hospital outpatient and inpatient care during the first wave of the pandemic. There is evidence of pro-rich inequities in access to GP consultations, prescriptions and medical helplines at the peak of the first wave, but these were eliminated as the pandemic progressed. There are persistent pro-rich inequities for services that relate to individuals' ability to pay (over the counter medications and advice from the local pharmacist).
    Keywords: inequity, COVID-19, unmet need, health care, UKHLS
    JEL: C1 D63 I14
    Date: 2020–11
  3. By: Dobbelaere, Sabien (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Hirsch, Boris (Leuphana University Lüneburg); Müller, Steffen (IWH Halle); Neuschaeffer, Georg (IWH Halle)
    Abstract: This paper examines how collective bargaining through unions and workplace codetermination through works councils shape labour market imperfections and how labour market imperfections matter for employer wage premia. Based on representative German plant data for the years 1999-2016, we document that labour market imperfections are the norm rather than the exception. Wage mark-downs, that is wages below the marginal revenue product of labour rooted in employers' monopsony power, are the most prevalent outcome. We further find that both types of organised labour are accompanied by a smaller prevalence and intensity of wage mark-downs whereas the opposite holds for wage mark-ups, that is wages above the marginal revenue product of labour rooted in workers' monopoly power. Finally, we document a close link between our production-based labour market imperfection measures and employer wage premia. The prevalence and intensity of wage mark-downs are associated with a smaller level and larger dispersion of premia whereas wage mark-ups are only accompanied by a higher premium level.
    Keywords: wage mark-downs, wage mark-ups, collective wage agreements, works councils, employer wage premia
    JEL: J42 J50 J31 D22
    Date: 2020–11
  4. By: Hintermann, Beat (University of Basel); Zarkovic, Maja (University of Basel); di Maria, Corrado; Wagner, Ulrich J.
    Abstract: We investigate productivity and cost pass-through of German manufacturing firms using administrative data from 2001 to 2014. Our framework allows for the estimation of quantity-based production functions for multi-product firms while controlling for unobserved productivity shocks and unobserved input quality. Using our parameter estimates, we can compute total factor productivity, markups and marginal costs. We find no effect of the EU ETS on firm productivity or profits for the whole sector, and a positive effect for some industries. Firms pass on shocks to materials costs completely, or even more than completely, whereas pass-through of energy costs is around 35-60%. Although pass-through of energy costs is incomplete, it nevertheless allowed firms to recover more than their total carbon costs due to generous free allocation of allowances. Our results add to the recent literature concerning the causal effects of climate policy on firms and are relevant for policy makers when defining the level of free allowance allocation to industry.
    Keywords: Productivity; production function; markup; cost pass-through; EU ETS; climate policy
    JEL: D24 H23 Q52 Q54
    Date: 2020–09–30
  5. By: Francesco Campo; Sara Giunti; Mariapia Mendola
    Abstract: The ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe has created a public opinion backlash. Italy has been on the frontline of this crisis but little is known about its political impact on voting behavior and electoral outcomes. We collect unique administrative data on the refugee relocation system across Italian municipalities during the crisis (2014-2017) to assess the causal effect of the inflow of asylum seekers on political support for radical-right anti-immigration parties and vote shares in parliamentary elections. We exploit exogenous variation in refugee settlement induced by the Italian Dispersal Policy, set up in 2014 as to exceptionally enlarge the national reception capacity. We find a positive and significant effect of the share of asylum seekers on right-wing-populist support. The effect is significantly heterogeneous across municipality characteristics, yet robust to dispersal policy features. We show that the anti–immigration backlash is not rooted in adverse economic effects, while it is triggered by radical–right propaganda.
    Keywords: Immigration, Refugee Crisis, Political Preferences, Dispersal Policy
    JEL: H53 I38
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: di Maria, Corrado; Zarkovic, Maja (University of Basel); Hintermann, Beat (University of Basel)
    Abstract: The use of price instruments is often advocated by economists, based on their ability to bring about marginal abatement cost equalisation, and hence to achieve targets at least cost. We use the EU ETS as a case study and test this theoretical prediction. We parametrically estimate separate hyperbolic and enhanced hyperbolic distance functions for various industries of the German manufacturing sector and are therefore able to compute the shadow value of CO2 emissions. We are the first to provide firm-level estimates of the marginal cost of CO2 emissions using confidential administrative data for German manufacturing firms between 2005 and 2014. This allows for an unprecedented insight into the cost of the EU flagship climate policy for manufacturing firms. We are able to describe the evolution of the abatement costs over time and across industries, tracking the impact of changes in the policy design and its stringency on the behaviour of the firms in our panel. Our findings provide valuable information for policy makers in the European Union and beyond on the actual level of the costs imposed by climate change policy, and its distributional impacts across firms and industries.
    Keywords: Hyperbolic Distance Function, Stochastic Frontier Analysis, Cost-eectiveness, Emissions Trading
    JEL: C23 D24 L60 Q52
    Date: 2020–09–30
  7. By: Jens Horbach (Faculty of Business, University of Applied Sciences Augsburg)
    Abstract: Eco-innovation activities are crucial for the mitigation of climate change and further envi-ronmental problems. Start-up firms might play an important role for this relatively new in-novation field as they are predestinated for realizing completely new ideas compared to in-cumbent firms that are not willing to abandon their established innovation paths. On the oth-er side, start-ups have limited resources and need external regionally available input of knowledge. Based on data of the German IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel in combination with re-gional data at the NUTS 3 level, the paper analyzes the determinants of eco-innovation in start-up firms. The econometric results show that regional spill-over effects seem to be very important for eco-innovation activities of start-up firms. In regions where the existing stock of environmentally related patents is already high, the probability that a start-up firm realiz-es eco-innovations is significantly higher. Furthermore, eco-innovative start-ups show dis-proportionally more difficulties to get financing from external investors.
    Keywords: Regional spill-over effects, environmental innovation, probit models
    JEL: Q55 R11 C25
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Roth, Paula (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Several studies have linked rising insolvency rates to increasing inequality and argued that this might be explained by individuals’ desire to “Keep up with the Joneses”. Using unique administrative register data on individual insolvencies in Sweden, I test whether the probability to become insolvent is related to inequality in one’s reference group or to one’s income distance relative to peers. Identification relies on area fixed effects, an extensive set of background characteristics and varying the definition of relevant reference groups. I find that there is a positive relationship between inequality and insolvency, where a 10 percent increase in top incomes increases the individual probability to become insolvent by 12 percent.
    Keywords: Inequality; Insolvency; Bankruptcy; Financial distress; Social interaction
    JEL: D14 D31 D63 D91 E21
    Date: 2020–12–10
  9. By: Giovanna Messina (Bank of Italy); Antonella Tomasi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Solid waste management is one of the most important functions performed by Italian municipalities and is mostly financed through local property taxes. Alternative financing schemes, known as ‘pay-as-you throw’ (PAYT), are designed to price each additional unit of waste and are becoming increasingly frequent at international level. Their advantages in terms of efficiency and equity, as well as of care for the environment, have been investigated both theoretically and empirically. This paper estimates the impact of PAYT schemes on the amount of waste produced and on the costs of its disposal for Italian municipalities. Results show that PAYT schemes deeply affect user behavior: total waste decreases (unsorted waste almost halves). Overall, the costs incurred by municipalities adopting PAYT fall by roughly 10 to 20 per cent in per capita terms, reflecting a reduction of one third in the cost of managing undifferentiated waste.
    Keywords: pay-as-you-throw, municipal solid waste management, policy evaluation
    JEL: D78 H23 H71 Q53
    Date: 2020–11
  10. By: Cette Gilbert; Nevoux Sandra; Py Loriane
    Abstract: Taking advantage of an original firm-level survey carried out by the Banque de France, we empirically investigate how the employment of ICT specialists (in-house and external) and the use of digital technologies (cloud and big data) have an impact on firm productivity and labor share. Our analysis relies on the survey responses in 2018 of 1,065 French firms belonging to the manufacturing sector and with at least 20 employees. To tackle potential endogeneity issues, we adopt an instrumental variable approach as proposed by Bartik (1991). The results of our crosssection estimations point to a large effect: ceteris paribus, the employment of ICT specialists and the use of digital technologies improve a firm’s labor productivity by about 23% and its total factor productivity by about 17%. Conversely, the employment of in-house ICT specialists and the use of big data both have a detrimental impact on labor share, of about 2.5 percentage points respectively.
    Keywords: Productivity, ICT, digitalization
    JEL: O3 O4 J24 L11
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Henrik Kleven; Camille Landais; Johanna Posch; Andreas Steinhauer; Josef Zweimüller
    Abstract: Do family policies reduce gender inequality in the labor market? We contribute to this debate by investigating the joint impact of parental leave and child care, using administrative data covering the labor market and birth histories of Austrian workers over more than half a century. We start by quasi-experimentally identifying the causal effects of all family policy reforms since the 1950s on the full dynamics of male and female earnings. We then map these causal estimates into a decomposition framework a la Kleven, Landais and Søgaard (2019) to compute counterfactual gender gaps. Our results show that the enormous expansions of parental leave and child care subsidies have had virtually no impact on gender convergence.
    JEL: H31 H42 J08 J13 J16 J18 J22
    Date: 2020–11
  12. By: Ruben Fotso (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This objective of this paper is to evaluate and examine the impact of technological platforms used as technology transfer tools on the financial and employment variables of SMEs. To do so, it considers the French Technological Research Institute (TRI) known as "Nanoelec", which is an interdisciplinary thematic institute which uses technological platforms to accelerate the transfer of innovation in companies. Using a matched difference-indifference approach with the individual effects on panel data observed over the 2008-2016 period, empirical analysis shows that the TRI had a homogenous and significant effect on equity but no effect on employment variables. When cross-referenced against the length of participation in the TRI however, more heterogenous results emerged, showing that the TRI had an additional effect on all financial variables (turnover, equity and financial autonomy) and that this effect appears to concentrate on companies which have participated for longer (two to three years). Furthermore, the evaluation shows a clear positive effect on equity and financial autonomy among firms that collaborate with an Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) laboratory and a weak negative effect on net turnover for firms which receive "expertise" type treatment. Additional analysis indicates that the type of treatment has a more significant role to play than the length of involvement in the TRI.
    Keywords: Science-industry relationships,Technological platforms,Difference-in-differences approach,SME,Impact evaluation
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Cevat Giray Aksoy; Panu Poutvaara; Felicitas Schikora
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of local labor market conditions and attitudes towards immigrants at the time of arrival on refugees’ multi-dimensional integration outcomes (economic, linguistic, navigational, political, psychological, and social). Using a unique dataset on refugees, we leverage a centralized allocation policy in Germany where refugees were exogenously assigned to live in specific counties. We find that high initial local unemployment negatively affects refugees’ economic and social integration: they are less likely to be in education or employment and they earn less. We also show that favorable attitudes towards immigrants promote refugees’ economic and social integration. The results suggest that attitudes toward immigrants are as important as local unemployment rates in shaping refugees’ integration outcomes. Using a machine learning classifier algorithm, we find that our results are driven by older people and those with secondary or tertiary education. Our findings highlight the importance of both initial economic and social conditions for facilitating refugee integration, and have implications for the design of centralized allocation policies.
    Keywords: international migration, refugees, integration, allocation policy
    JEL: F22 J15 J24
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Bazzoli, Martina; Di Caro, Paolo; Figari, Francesco; Fiorio, Carlo V.; Manzo, Marco
    Abstract: We measure tax evasion in Italy by estimating a food expenditure equation that disentangles households with prevalent income from self-employment, which is self-declared, from those with mostly third-party reported income. By using a novel dataset that links the 2013 Italian Household Budget Survey with individual tax records over a period of 7 years, we reduce measurement error by a great extent. We also depart from the usual constant share of underreporting, showing that underreporting heterogeneity among self-employed is significant, and is larger for singles and for college-educated households. We show that self-employed workers in Italy exhibit a similar attitude to tax evasion as those in other developed countries. Therefore, we point to the structure of the economy for an explanation of why aggregate tax evasion in Italy is larger than in other developed countries. The estimated heterogeneity of underreporting behavior of households combined with the use of a tax-benefit microsimulation model have allowed us to shed light on the distributional effects of income tax evasion, showing that almost 73% of the missing revenue is attributable to tax-payers at the top of the income distribution.
    Date: 2020–12–09
  15. By: Giovanni Crea (Università di Pavia); Valentina Beretta (Università di Pavia)
    Abstract: We estimate income-related inequality in chronic patients in Italy and analyze its dynamics over time. Data come from the 2005, 2005, and 2013 waves of the Indagine Multiscopo sulle Famiglie, Condizioni di salute e ricorso ai servizi sanitari”, carried out by ISTAT. Results show an increase over time in chronic disease prevalence, higher for women than for men. This study provides evidence for chronic conditions inequalities in Italy. Indeed, chronic conditions are concentrated among poor people. In particular, over time, the prevalence of chronicity did not reduce for poor people, while it increased in richer people.
    Keywords: chronic conditions, socioeconomic status, inequality, concentration index, Italy
    Date: 2020–04
  16. By: Sophie Cottet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper uses administrative employer-employee data to uncover the effects of a large payroll tax reduction for minimum-wage workers in France in the 1990s. Exploiting the change in labor costs both at the job level and at the firm level, I find that the number of minimum-wage jobs increases but that these additionnal jobs stem exclusively from firms which had previously very few, or none, minimum wage workers. On the contrary, firms which already employed workers at minimum-wage levels, and thus benefit ex ante from a cash windfall, increase employment irrespective of wage levels. Overall, these results suggest that targeting cash-contrained firms, and not only groups of workers, is key for employment growth.
    Keywords: Payroll taxes,Firm behavior,Rent sharing,Minimum wage
    Date: 2020–11
  17. By: Calogero Guccio (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Marco Ferdinando Martorana (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Isidoro Mazza (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Giacomo Pignataro (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania); Ilde Rizzo (Department of Economics and Business, University of Catania)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the efficiency in attracting visitors of Italian museums. Notwithstanding the extensive literature on museum performance measurement, the analysis of the role of technological innovation is relatively neglected. As a first attempt to fill this lacuna, this study presents a two-stage analysis of a novel sample of Italian state-owned museums built by merging information drawn from different sources. In the first stage, we use Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and bootstrapping technique to measure the efficiency of museums. In the second stage, we use a bootstrap truncated regression approach to test the extent to which different forms of ICT affect museum efficiency. We distinguish the ICT investments into in situ and online services, since the former improve the visitors’ experience on site, while the latter can prepare for the visit or, even, be a substitute of the visit. The results reveal that the use of ICT is generally associated with better performances but in situ services shows to play a major role.
    Keywords: museums; ICT; technological innovation; efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; bootstrap truncated regression
    JEL: C14 C61 I21 Z1
    Date: 2020–12
  18. By: Diana Chise; Margherita Fort; Chiara Monfardini
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence on the existence and the extent of intergenerational transmission of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education using a recent large administrative dataset of Italian graduates obtained from the Almalaurea data. Parental influence on two STEM educational outcomes (high school and university degree completion) is strong and, net of student's time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, proves to be stronger at the stage of the educational career closer to labour market entry. At this stage, the influence of fathers outweighs the one of mothers and is larger for sons than for daughters. The documented STEM intergenerational transmission is not driven by liberal profession of parents for most of STEM fields, while it is for some non-STEM fields (economic and legal studies), consistently with the presence of entry barriers in some professions.
    Keywords: Gender, Intergenerational transmission, Parents, STEM
    JEL: J16 J24 I24
    Date: 2020–10
  19. By: Markus Eyting (Johannes Gutenberg University)
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset from a German health check-up provider including detailed individual questionnaire data as well as medical test data, I apply a random forest to predict several health risk factors. I evaluate the prediction performance using various metrics and find decent prediction qualities across all outcomes. By identifying the most relevant predictor variables, I compile concise and validated questionnaire tools to identify individuals’ blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels, their risk of a coronary heart disease, whether or not they suffer from plaque or a metabolic syndrome as well as their relative fitness levels. In a second step, I compare the prediction results to physician predictions of the same patient observations. I find that the random forest outperforms the physicians if predictions are based on the same information set. When additionally providing the physicians with the random forest predictions for a particular patient observation, the physicians align with the random forest predictions. Finally, while the random forest considers various psychological scales, the physicians focus on family health history information instead.
    Date: 2020–12–07
  20. By: Dahlberg, Matz (Institute for Dialectology, Onomastics and Folklore Research); Egebark, Johan (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Vikman, Ullrika (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Özcan, Gülay (Swedish Public Employment Service)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates an ambitious and newly designed program for increased integration in Sweden. The purpose of the program is to help newly arrived, low-educated refugees into employment. The program includes four main components: (1) intensive initial language training, (2) work practice under close supervision, (3) job search assistance, and (4) extended cooperation between the local public sector and firms. An important feature of the program is that the demand side of the labor market, represented by the largest real estate company in Gothenburg, is involved in designing the program. Our evaluation is based on a randomized controlled trial, where potential participants in one of the first waves were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The paper presents results from the first two years after randomization. Using inference based on Fisher's exact test, we show that the program has positive effects on employment: around 30% of the individuals in the treatment group are employed each month during the first year following the end of the program, compared to an average of approximately 15% in the control group.
    Keywords: Refugee immigration; Integration; Randomized experiment; Labor market program
    JEL: C93 J08 J15 J23 J61
    Date: 2020–12–08
  21. By: Ioana Marinescu; Ivan Ouss; Louis-Daniel Pape
    Abstract: How does employer market power affect workers? We compute the concentration of new hires by occupation and commuting zone in France using linked employer-employee data. Using instrumental variables with worker and firm fixed effects, we find that a 10% increase in labor market concentration decreases hires by 12.4% and the wages of new hires by nearly 0.9%, as hypothesized by monopsony theory. Based on a simple merger simulation, we find that a merger between the top two employers in the retail industry would be most damaging, with about 24 million euros in annual lost wages for new hires, and an 8000 decrease in annual hires.
    JEL: J23 J3 J42 K21 L13
    Date: 2020–11

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