nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2015‒03‒05
twenty-two papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. "The Rise of Money and Class Society: The Contributions of John F. Henry" By Alla Semenova; L. Randall Wray
  2. Why is this ‘school’ called neoclassical economics? Classicism and neoclassicism in historical context By Nuno Ornelas Martins
  3. Islam Versus Economics By Asad Zaman
  5. Combining knowledge bases in transnational innovation - microfoundations and the geography of organization By Strambach , Simone
  6. Essentials of Constructive Heterodoxy: Money, Credit, Interest By Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
  7. Inequality, Sustainability and Piketty’s Capital By Nuno Ornelas Martins
  8. Growing out of Crises and Recessions: Regulating Systemic Financial Institutions and Redefining Government Responsibilities By Marcel Boyer
  9. Process and Order in Classical and Marginalist Economics By Nuno Ornelas Martins
  10. Gender Identity and Relative Income Within Households By Bertrand, Marianne; Kamenica, Emir; Pan, Jessica
  11. Institutional Efficiency and Processes of Institutional Changes (as Seen by the Russian Academic Tradition) By Kuzmin, Evgeny A.; Barbakov, Oleg M.
  12. The evolution of the work-family field: Gaps and missing links as opportunities for future research By Katherina Kuschel
  13. Aproximación a la estructura del mercado cambiario colombiano desde el análisis de redes By Jhonatan Pérez; Carlos León; Ricardo Mariño
  14. Dissecting the brains of central bankers: the case of the ECB's Governing Council members on reforms By Bennani, Hamza
  15. Institutions, Smart Specialisation Dynamics and Policy By Grillitsch , Markus
  16. Accounting for total work By Andrea Brandolini; Eliana Viviano
  17. Gender discrimination in 19thc England: evidence from factory children By Sara Horrell; Deborah Oxley
  18. Pobreza infantil na eurorrexio´n Galicia - Norte de Portugal By Fernando Corbelle Cacabelos; Liliana Fernandes; Angela Troitiño Cobas
  19. Poverty in India: concepts,measurement and status By More, Sachin; Singh, Narendra
  20. Chameleons: The Misuse of Theoretical Models in Finance and Economics By Pfleiderer, Paul
  21. Gender Roles and Medical Progress By Stefania Albanesi; Claudia Olivetti
  22. Wealth as an Indicator of Socio-Economic Welfare: Islamic Views By Asad Zaman; Arif Naveed; Atiq-ur-Rehman

  1. By: Alla Semenova; L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: This paper explores the rise of money and class society in ancient Greece, drawing historical and theoretical parallels to the case of ancient Egypt. In doing so, the paper examines the historical applicability of the chartalist and metallist theories of money. It will be shown that the origins and the evolution of money were closely intertwined with the rise and consolidation of class society and inequality. Money, class society, and inequality came into being simultaneously, so it seems, mutually reinforcing the development of one another. Rather than a medium of exchange in commerce, money emerged as an "egalitarian token" at the time when the substance of social relations was undergoing a fundamental transformation from egalitarian to class societies. In this context, money served to preserve the façade of social and economic harmony and equality, while inequality was growing and solidifying. Rather than "invented" by private traders, money was first issued by ancient Greek states and proto-states as they aimed to establish and consolidate their political and economic power. Rather than a medium of exchange in commerce, money first served as a "means of recompense" administered by the Greek city-states as they strived to implement the civic conception of social justice. While the origins of money are to be found in the origins of inequality, a well-functioning democratic society has the power to subvert the inequality-inducing characteristic of money via the use of money for public purpose, following the principles of Modern Money Theory (MMT). When used according to the principles of MMT, the inequality-inducing characteristic of money could be undermined, while the current trends in rising income and wealth disparities could be contained and reversed.
    Keywords: Nature of Money; Chartalism; Metallism; Origins of Money; Origins of Coinage; Inequality; Class; Ideology; Religious Ideology; State Formation; State Theory of Money; Modern Money Theory
    JEL: B5 B25 B41 E11 E12 E42 E52 E62 E63 H6 N1 N2 P1 P4 P5 Z1
    Date: 2015–02
  2. By: Nuno Ornelas Martins (Centro de Estudos em Gestão e Economia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
    Abstract: This article addresses the origins of the term “neoclassical” economics, and the subsequent use of the term. It is argued that the present use of the term “neoclassical” economics is different from its original meaning when it was first introduced by Thorstein Veblen, who used it to denote a methodological inconsistency between vision and method, as Tony Lawson argues. I also argue here that the original meaning of the term, and its present use, are both contradictory with the original meaning of “classical political economy”. In fact, if we follow the original meaning of the term “classical political economy”, as a surplus approach concerned with the reproduction and distribution of the economic surplus, we find that many of those who are critical of “neoclassical economics” are actually in line with the classical perspective, to the extent that they also develop a surplus approach.
    Keywords: Classical, Neoclassical, closed system, surplus, marginalism
    JEL: B41
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Asad Zaman (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: The paper shows that fundamental Islamic principles regarding organisation of economic affairs are directly and strongly in conflict with teachings of conventional economic theories.
    Keywords: Islam and Economics, Economics and Religion
    JEL: A13 Z12
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Marzena Starnawska (Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk, Poland)
    Abstract: Entrepreneurial behavior in challenging institutional environments have been widely investigated in the literature. One of the characteristics of these environments is resource scarcity. This is particularly valid in the context of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises. The aim of this paper is to identify entrepreneurial behaviors in social entrepreneurship and what is happening behind these processes in the context of transition country, against the backdrop of challenging environment and weak institutional framework in particular in Poland. We use a purposive sample of 5 social cooperatives, and report the data from several in-depth interviews with their representatives as well as observation from the cooperatives. We have attempted to widen the existing categories on entrepreneurial behavior namely boundary blurring and diversification, and discuss them in social entrepreneurship context.
    Keywords: social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, entrepreneurial behavior, social cooperatives, institutions
    JEL: L31 L26 P13 D22 D02
    Date: 2015–02
  5. By: Strambach , Simone (Department of Geography, Philipps-University of Marburg)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to contribute both conceptually and empirically to a deeper understanding of the territorial shaping of knowledge combination and its development dynamics underpinning innovation. The importance of combining and integrating knowledge bases from different sources, geographical scales and heterogeneous actors is increasingly recognized in innovation studies. Yet, the question of what limits or enables knowledge combinations in innovation processes and what generates relatedness among unrelated knowledge bases in time and space is not fully answered. Conceptually the paper suggests a more specific focus on microfoundations and temporality by taking into account the economics of organization in more detail. This appears a particularly promising approach, as the causal relations and mechanisms across and between aggregated levels such as firms, sectors, regions, or nations are not well understood. Empirically the paper explores the micro-dynamics of knowledge combination and its territorial shaping from a transnational perspective. German-Chinese innovation projects in sustainable construction are investigated by using the methodology of innovation biography. This method allows following the time-space path of innovation. It enables capturing knowledge interactions and their unfolding in multi-scalar and cross-sectoral ways. The results underline a very dynamic geography of organization and barriers for knowledge integration at the micro-level rooted in organizational and institutional path dependencies. The investigation in the interplay between more permanent and temporary organizational forms and its geography holds a large potential for further research to provide new insights into the spatiality of combining knowledge bases in innovation processes.
    Keywords: knowledge dynamics; transnational innovation; microfoundations; economics of organization; innovation biography
    JEL: D83 L14 L20 L84 O31
    Date: 2015–02–26
  6. By: Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont
    Abstract: The goal of theoretical economics is to explain how the monetary economy works. The fatal methodological defect of Orthodoxy is that it is based on behavioral axioms. Yet, no specific behavioral assumption whatever can serve as a starting point for economic analysis. From this follows for Constructive Heterodoxy that the subjective axiomatic foundations have to be replaced. This amounts to a paradigm shift. Nobody can rest content with a pluralism of false theories. Based on a set of objective axioms all economic conceptions have to be reconstructed from scratch. In the following this is done for the theory of money.
    Keywords: new framework of concepts, structure-centric, Structural Law of Supply and Demand, stock of money, monetary profit, transaction unit, banking unit
    JEL: B59 E10
    Date: 2015–02–28
  7. By: Nuno Ornelas Martins (Centro de Estudos em Gestão e Economia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
    Abstract: In the present article I address the implications of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century for our understanding of inequality and sustainability. I argue that although Piketty’s contribution is a significant one which has the potential to lead economic analysis in a more fruitful direction, its potential is constrained by its reliance on marginalist theory. The difficulties in addressing adequately the themes of inequality and sustainability spring from the assumptions employed in marginalist theory, which have been proven inconsistent in several debates throughout the history of economic thought. Once the constraints posed by marginalist theory are removed from Piketty’s contribution, its potential becomes much greater when addressing inequality, and has also important implications for such topics as sustainability, justice, and the environment.
    Keywords: Inequality, Sustainability, Cambridge Controversies, Capitalism
    JEL: B41 I31
    Date: 2014–12
  8. By: Marcel Boyer
    Abstract: I characterize and discuss the challenges and pitfalls we must face to grow out for good of recent and future financial crises and economic recessions. I propose a brief history of the 2008 crisis and insist on the loss of confidence within the banking and financial sector, which propagated later to the real sector. I discuss the factors underlying this loss of confidence: the failure of the Federal Reserve Board to abide by its mission; the ill-advised political interventions in mortgage markets; the leniency of (captured) financial regulators; the faulty risk management mechanisms in the banking sector; and the omnipresence of poorly designed compensation systems in the banking and financial sector. I also discuss the ways to rebuild confidence and move out of a bad and stable economic equilibrium. Considering data on gross job creation and loss in the US private sector, I challenge the sorcerer’s apprentices’ plan for reforming capitalism and I recall the key role played by creative destruction. I suggest that government deficits and economic growth are not good friends, offering a reference to the Canadian experience of the two decades 1985-2005. Finally, I discuss fiscal and regulatory reforms and propose a set of redefined roles for public/governmental and competitive/private sectors in generating a more prosperous economy. <P>Je caractérise les défis et écueils auxquels nous devons faire face pour sortir pour de bon des crises financières et récessions économiques. Je propose une brève histoire de la crise de 2008 et insiste sur la perte de confiance au sein du secteur bancaire et financier, qui s’est propagée plus tard au secteur réel. Je présente les facteurs-clés de la crise: la défaillance du Federal Reserve Board dans la poursuite de sa mission; les interventions politiciennes dans le marché hypothécaire; la complaisance des régulateurs; la faiblesse des mécanismes de gestion de risques au sein du système bancaire; et l’omniprésence dans le secteur bancaire et financier de systèmes de rémunération mal conçus. Je discute des moyens de rétablir la confiance et de se sortir d'un équilibre économique mauvais mais stable. Considérant les données brutes sur la création et la perte d'emplois dans le secteur privé américain, je nous mets en garde contre les apprentis-sorciers en mal de réformer le capitalisme et je rappelle le rôle-clé de la destruction créatrice. Je suggère que les déficits publics et la croissance économique ne sont pas de bons comparses, donnant en référence l'expérience canadienne de la période 1985-2005. Enfin, je discute des réformes fiscales et réglementaires et je propose des rôles renouvelés des secteurs public/gouvernemental et privé/concurrentiel dans le façonnement d’une économie plus prospère.
    Keywords: Financial crisis, confidence, creative destruction, fiscal reform, prudential systemic regulation, competitive social-democracy, Crise financière, confiance, destruction créatrice, réforme fiscale, réglementation systémique prudentielle, social-démocratie concurrentielle
    Date: 2015–01–01
  9. By: Nuno Ornelas Martins (Centro de Estudos em Gestão e Economia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
    Abstract: In this article I compare the classical theory of value with the theory of value that emerged after the marginal revolution, taking into account the underlying conceptions of process and order that are implicit in each theory. In classical political economy, the economy is conceived of as a continuous process of reproduction, wherein a surplus is distributed through various social classes. After the classical period, the notion of reproduction is replaced with the notion of equilibrium, while the analysis of society in terms of social classes is replaced by methodological individualism. Value also starts to be seen in terms of marginal utility, rather than cost of production. This transformation brought important changes to the implicit philosophical conceptions of process and order that have underpinned the dominant economic doctrine from the classical period until today, leading to the marginalist belief that market exchange is always the most efficient coordinating mechanism of the economy. The classical perspective, however, contains a broader conception of socio-economic reproduction, which is consistent with different institutional arrangements.
    Keywords: Process, order, reproduction, exchange, value.
    JEL: B41
    Date: 2014–12
  10. By: Bertrand, Marianne; Kamenica, Emir; Pan, Jessica
    Abstract: We examine causes and consequences of relative income within households. We show the distribution of the share of income earned by the wife exhibits a sharp drop to the right of 1/2, where the wife's income exceeds the husbands income. We argue that this pattern is best explained by gender identity norms, which induce an aversion to a situation where the wife earns more than her husband. We present evidence that this aversion also impacts marriage formation, the wife's labor force participation, the wife's income conditional on working, marriage satisfaction, likelihood of divorce, and the division of home production. Within marriage markets, when a randomly chosen woman becomes more likely to earn more than a randomly chosen man, marriage rates decline. In couples where the wife's potential income is likely to exceed the husband's, the wife is less likely to be in the labor force and earns less than her potential if she does work. In couples where the wife earns more than the husband, the wife spends more time on household chores; moreover, those couples are less satisfied with their marriage and are more likely to divorce. Those patterns hold both cross-sectionally and within couple over time.
    Keywords: gender gap; gender roles; marriage market
    JEL: D10 J12 J16
    Date: 2015–03
  11. By: Kuzmin, Evgeny A.; Barbakov, Oleg M.
    Abstract: Research in changes to the institutional environment has set a scientific problem of a balance between consequences from such changes and a need to sort out differences across imperfect standards and regulations. Approaches to solve the abovementioned issue are not the same. In a review of scientific papers, we present an original view of scientists, who are committed to the Russian academic tradition. To clarify this, the paper summarizes theories on the efficiency of economic agents and institutions. The paper also demonstrates ambiguity in approaches to a definition of efficiency conditions. It justifies factors of an increase or a decrease in transaction costs in a horizontal and vertical institutional expansion, as well as a change to the transformational function. In the course of the research, existing saturation and sparsity as features of the institutional environment are discussed.
    Keywords: economic agent efficiency, institutional efficiency, saturation and sparsity of the institutional environment, borders of economic agents, institutional changes
    JEL: B52 L14
    Date: 2015–02
  12. By: Katherina Kuschel (School of Business and Economics, Universidad del Desarrollo)
    Abstract: What are the current critical gaps in the work-family (WF) field that may have potential for future research opportunities? This comprehensive review presents a synthesis and critique of the evolution of the existing WF literature from 1985 to the present, emphasizing papers since 2005 in order to highlight the gaps and limitations in current research. Our study classifies the current research into five broad themes: (1) definitions, (2) theories, (3) antecedents and outcomes of WF conflict and enrichment, (4) WF policies, and (5) methodological approaches. Future research opportunities in the field include a deeper understanding on how to cope effectively when WF conflict, how to achieve WF enrichment, how do different type of employees experience the WF interface, and how can researchers address methodological problems (causality, endogeneity, simultaneity, effect size and self-selection bias) to better handle the complexity of WF issues.
    Keywords: Work family balance, Literature Review
    JEL: M12 M14
    Date: 2014–12
  13. By: Jhonatan Pérez; Carlos León; Ricardo Mariño
    Abstract: Con base en las métricas propias utilizadas para el análisis de redes complejas e información transaccional, este trabajo permite realizar una caracterización del mercado spot peso/dólar y forward peso/dólar colombiano. En particular, es posible establecer que estos pueden ser catalogados como redes de estructura jerárquica donde un reducido grupo de Intermediarios del Mercado Cambiario centrales (periféricas) poseen una gran (pequeña) porción tanto del número de transacciones como del monto promedio negociado. Dichos resultados sugieren que ambos mercados: (i) son robustos ante la extracción aleatoria de participantes; (ii) son frágiles ante la extracción determinística de participantes centrales; y (iii) la mejor manera de “inmunizar” (i.e. la intensidad de la regulación, supervisión y seguimiento) de manera óptima los mercados es enfocarse en los participantes centrales. Adicionalmente, este trabajo resalta el papel que tiene la infraestructura financiera del país como generador de información estandarizada y confiable de mercado, la cual puede ser considerada como insumo en la toma de decisiones que involucran a las entidades involucradas en las funciones de la regulación, supervisión y seguimiento de los mercados financieros.
    Keywords: Minimal spanning tree, análisis de redes, centralidad, power-law.
    JEL: D85 G2 E42
    Date: 2015–02–23
  14. By: Bennani, Hamza
    Abstract: Since 2009, European central bankers have supported some reforms, in order to draw roadmaps to get out of the euro debt crisis. This paper tests whether the educational and professional background of European central bankers matter for the type of reforms each of them advocated. Through a textual analysis of public speeches delivered by the European central bankers, we draw a cognitive map for each of them and, thus, of the reforms they propose as ways out of the euro debt crisis. Our results show that their occupational background is an important determinant of their respective economic reform proposals.
    Keywords: European Central Bank, Monetary Policy, Euro debt crisis, Cognitive mapping
    JEL: E42 E52 E58 H12
    Date: 2015–01
  15. By: Grillitsch , Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: Smart specialisation features prominently in the European regional policy context. This paper discusses how the configuration of the regional institutional framework affects smart specialisation dynamics and policy. It elaborates why and how institutional diversity and integration promote entrepreneurial discovery processes, spillovers and agglomeration effects, and thereby structural change in regions. Policy challenges arising from the regional institutional framework are identified, discussed and related to well-research system failures of regional innovation systems.
    Keywords: regional policy; smart specialisation; institutions; regional innovation systems; system failures
    JEL: B52 O17 O43 P48 R10 R11 R58
    Date: 2015–02–26
  16. By: Andrea Brandolini (Bank of Italy); Eliana Viviano (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We analyse how accounting for household production could affect labour market statistics. This topic has grown in importance since the release of the new System of National Accounts in 2008. Because the traditional headcount ratios focussing on the number of people carrying out some home and some market production may not be very informative, we propose a general class of indices based on the time spent on each type of work that encompasses headcount indicators. We apply these indices to selected configurations of the parameters to make cross-country comparisons.
    Keywords: home production, work intensity, employment rate.
    JEL: J22 J21
    Date: 2014–11
  17. By: Sara Horrell; Deborah Oxley
    Abstract: Gender bias against girls in nineteenth-century England has received much interest but establishing its existence has proved difficult.  We utilise data on heights of 16,402 children working in northern textile factories in 1837 to examine whether gender bias was evident.  Current interpretations argue against any difference.  Here our comparisons with modern height standards reveal greater deprivation for girls than for boys.  But this result cannot be taken at face value.  We query whether modern standards require adjustment to account for the later timing of puberty in historical populations and develop an alternative.  Gender discrimination remains, although its absence amongst younger children precludes an indictment of culturally-founded gender bias.  The height data must remain mute on the source of this discrimination but we utilise additional information to examine some hypotheses: occupational sorting, differential susceptibility to disease, poorer nutrition for girls, disproportionate stunting from the effects of nutritional deprivation, and type and amount of work undertaken, specifically labour additional to paid work in the domestic sphere.  Of these, we favour housework as the main culprit, factory girls undertook more physical labour than factory boys and this was reflected in disproportionate stunting.  The 'double burden' was, and remains, a form of gender discrimination.
    Date: 2015–03–03
  18. By: Fernando Corbelle Cacabelos (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela); Liliana Fernandes (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto); Angela Troitiño Cobas (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela)
    Abstract: É de especial relevancia para unha sociedade, e máis a raíz da crise económica na que están sumidas as sociedades española e portuguesa, coñecer cales son os colectivos máis débiles ou vulnerables ante a mesma. Un dos colectivos que máis protección necesita é o dos máis novos (infancia/adolescencia). Coñecer a situación e as características da poboación infantil/xuvenil é clave para chamar a atención sobre a gravidade da situación e reclamar das autoridades que correspondan a necesaria actuación. O obxectivo da estadía sería realizar unha análise do benestar e/ou pobreza infantil na Eurorrexión Galiza – Norte de Portugal explorando as principais metodoloxías existentes e realizando unha análise empírica desta problemática a través dos microdatos dispoñibles. Ademais, tamén poderemos obter os perfís dos fogares (tipoloxía do fogar, nivel de estudos dos pais, etc.) nos que os máis novos se atopan en maior situación de vulnerabilidade e risco de exclusión social. Tamén cabe a posibilidade de extraer conclusións acerca das diferenzas/similitudes do benestar infantil nas dúas rexións que forman a Eurorexión Galiza-Norte de Portugal.
    Keywords: pobreza infantil, pobreza multidimensional, eurorrexión, Galicia,Norte de Portugal, EPF, IDEF
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2014–12
  19. By: More, Sachin; Singh, Narendra
    Abstract: Poverty is a major hurdle of inclusive economic growth in any country. Thus eradication of poverty is become one of the important objectives of Government programme especially for developing country like India. To effectively design and execute the poverty eradication programme, government has to describe the meaning of poverty and explain how they can measure it. This paper brings together movement in the meaning of term poverty used by Government of India over the year and its measurement. The magnitude of poverty over the time and across the various State where also reported along with important highlight of various task force constituted by planning commission of India( Now it is called as Niti Ayog).
    Keywords: Poverty Lakdawala Committee Tendulkar Committee Task Force
    JEL: I3 I32
    Date: 2014
  20. By: Pfleiderer, Paul (Stanford University)
    Abstract: In this essay I discuss how theoretical models in finance and economics are used in ways that make them "chameleons" and how chameleons devalue the intellectual currency and muddy policy debates. A model becomes a chameleon when it is built on assumptions with dubious connections to the real world but nevertheless has conclusions that are uncritically (or not critically enough) applied to understanding our economy. I discuss how chameleons are created and nurtured by the mistaken notion that one should not judge a model by its assumptions, by the unfounded argument that models should have equal standing until definitive empirical tests are conducted, and by misplaced appeals to "as-if" arguments, mathematical elegance, subtlety, references to assumptions that are "standard in the literature," and the need for tractability.
    Date: 2014–03
  21. By: Stefania Albanesi (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Claudia Olivetti (Boston University and NBER)
    Abstract: Maternal mortality was the second largest cause of death for women in childbearing years up until the mid-1930s in the United States. For each death, twenty times as many mothers were estimated to suffer pregnancy related conditions, often leading to severe and prolonged disablement. Poor maternal health made it particularly hard for mothers to engage in market work. Between 1930 and 1960 there was a remarkable reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity. We argue that these medical advances, by enabling women to reconcile work and motherhood, were essential for the joint rise in married women's labor force participation and fertility over this period. We also show that the diffusion of infant formula played an important auxiliary role.
    Keywords: maternal mortality, female labor force participation, fertility, baby boom, human capital
    JEL: I15 J13 J22 N30
    Date: 2015–02
  22. By: Asad Zaman (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Arif Naveed (Cambridge University, UK); Atiq-ur-Rehman (International Islamic University, Islamabad)
    Abstract: According to western views, wealth is unambiguously good, and so human welfare is positive when wealth is in excess of needs, and negative if it is less. Islam has a substantially more sophisticated view of the relation between wealth and welfare. Excess wealth is a trial, which can bring great rewards if utilized correctly, and also bring great harm if utilized incorrectly. Similarly, poverty is a trail which can bring great rewards if borne with patience and prayer, and also cause great harm if it leads to begging from others. Thus there is no clear and simple relationship between wealth and welfare. This means that Islamic approaches to constructing an index for welfare must be substantially more complicated than those currently in use in the west. It is worth considering the reasons for undertaking the project of measurement and assessing what needs to be measured, and whether measurement itself is necessary, for achieving these goals?
    Keywords: Wealth, Welfare, Poverty, Measurement, Index, Shari’a
    JEL: B59 I3 P4
    Date: 2014

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