nep-hme New Economics Papers
on Heterodox Microeconomics
Issue of 2018‒03‒26
twenty-one papers chosen by
Carlo D’Ippoliti
Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”

  1. The commodification of knowledge and information By Rotta, Tomás N.; Teixeira, Rodrigo A.
  2. Karl Marx's thoughts on functional income distribution - a critical analysis By Herr, Hansjörg
  3. Re-theorizing the welfare state and the political economy of neoliberalism's war against it By Thomas I. Palley
  4. Class-specific gender gaps in health. The role of gender and working conditions within classes. By Kjellsson, Sara
  5. Class-specific gender gaps in musculoskeletal pain: Sweden 1974-2010.Have gender differences in pain changed over time and equally in all social classes? By Kjellsson, Sara
  6. The causes of falling wage share: sectoral and firm level evidence from developed and developing countries – what have we learned? By Onaran, Özlem; Guschanski, Alexander
  7. What drives the four decades-long decline in labour’s share of income? By Onaran, Özlem; Guschanski, Alexander
  8. Is the allocation of time gender sensitive to food price changes? an investigation of hours of work in Uganda By Daniela Campus; Gianna Claudia Giannelli
  9. Distribution, wealth and demand regimes in historical perspective By Engelbert Stockhammer; Joel Rabinovich; Niall Reddy
  10. Neoliberal populism in Turkey and its crisis By Akcay, Ümit
  11. Le technocapitalisme met en danger notre projet libéral By Renaud Vignes
  12. By ignoring intra-household inequality, do we underestimate the extent of poverty? By Philippe De Vreyer; Sylvie Lambert
  13. The labour share and financialisation: Evidence from publicly listed firms By Guschanski, Alexander; Onaran, Özlem
  14. From the right to work to freedom from work: introduction to the human economy By Bueno, Nicolas
  15. Responsabilité et/ou irresponsabilité sociale d'entreprise? Dr Jekyll et/ou Mr Hyde? By Marc Ingham
  16. ‘Women on top’ and/or ‘economic progress’: What affects actual and reported crime against women? An analysis of socio-economic factors in India By Banerjee, Swapnendu
  17. Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement By Tim Conley; Nirav Mehta; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
  18. A Theory of Social Finance By Simon Cornée; Marc Jegers; Ariane Szafarz
  19. Género y emprendimiento exportador: iniciativas de cooperación regional By Frohmann, Alicia
  20. Coming to Terms with the Authoritarian Alternative: The Implications and Motivations of China's Environmental Policies By Mark Beeson
  21. Demand-Led Growth Theory in a Classical Framework: Its Superiority, Its Limitations, and Its Explanatory Power By Smith, Matthew

  1. By: Rotta, Tomás N.; Teixeira, Rodrigo A.
    Abstract: In this paper we present an analysis of the commodification of knowledge and information in contemporary capitalism. We provide a consistent account of how information as a commodity effects the workings of both capitalism and of Marxist theory. The first part of the paper critically revisits Marx’s own writings on the commodification of knowledge and how the immaterial labor hypothesis initially interpreted these writings. Based on the new categories knowledge-commodity and knowledge-rent, we then present our own approach in response to the challenges raised by the immaterial labor hypothesis. Lastly, we analyze the more recent contributions on the commodification of knowledge and information within the Marxist literature and present some empirical estimates of the magnitudes of knowledge-rents.
    Keywords: Knowledge-commodities; knowledge-rents; value theory; Marx; immaterial labor;
    JEL: B51 L00 O30
    Date: 2018–03–13
  2. By: Herr, Hansjörg
    Abstract: Keynes, following the tradition of Marx, argued that all values are created by labour and profits. However, functional income distribution between wages and profits is explained differently. In Marx's explanation of functional income distribution, wages are given as a basket of goods needed for the reproduction needs of the working class. Profits are then the remaining part of income creation. Given the capital stock, the profit rate can be calculated. The paper shows that Marx's explanation of functional income distribution has several theoretical and practical shortcomings. The Keynesian paradigm in the tradition of the original Keynes provides an alternative. Here the profit rate is given by processes in the financial market, and, among other things, by the interest rate. Monopolistic or oligopolistic structures, following the tradition of Kalecki, can also influence the profit rate. In addition, financialisation can push up the profit rate. Given the capital stock the consumption basket of workers depends on the level of productivity and the profit rate explained in a Keynesian and Kaleckian way.
    Keywords: Marxism,functional income distribution,Sraffa,Keynesianism
    JEL: B24 B51 E25
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Thomas I. Palley
    Abstract: This paper argues neoliberalism is engaged in a war against the welfare state. At issue are competing views regarding the size of the welfare state and how it should be organized. In waging this war, neoliberalism seeks to politically discredit the traditional welfare state and change the economic structure so that the latter becomes unviable. The paper presents a new theoretical framework that distinguishes between modes of production and financing of the welfare estate. Neoliberalism's war rests on ideologically grounded criticisms drawn from mainstream economics; implementation of policies that undermine social solidarity toward the welfare state; exploiting pressures fostered by neoliberal globalization; and misrepresentations about affordability. The welfare state was critical in saving capitalism from itself after World War II. It is a way of embedding the market system so as to produce socially acceptable outcomes that are politically stable. Neoliberalism's war promises a body blow against shared prosperity. More ominously, it may so dis-embed the market system as to recreate conditions Polyani (1944) blamed for the rise of fascism in the 1930s.
    Keywords: Welfare state, neoliberalism, mode of production, mode of financing
    JEL: H1 H10 H50
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Kjellsson, Sara (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Social scientific health research typically finds higher levels of ill health among women and among the working class, and working conditions is an important mechanism in the literature on class health inequality. Whether gender health differences are similar across classes or whether they are class-specific is less studied. The aim of this study is to explore class-specific gender gaps in self-rated health (SRH), musculoskeletal pain and psychiatric distress, and whether they can be ascribed to working conditions. The study consists of 2597 employed men and women, aged 18-65, with information on class, working conditions and health from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU) in 2010. Linear Probability Models (LPM) are estimated and when including interaction terms between gender and class some class-specific gender gaps are observed. The between-class aspect of these cannot be ascribed to working conditions, but they contribute to the understanding of within-class differences. For SRH the gap is 10 percentage points larger among unskilled workers than higher non-manual employees. This can partly be ascribed to these women experiencing large psychosocial demands; while at the same time being more vulnerable than male unskilled workers to physically strenuous conditions. In skilled working class women are found to be particularly exposed to psychosocially demanding conditions, which accounts for the gender gap in musculoskeletal pain within this class. This study shows that gender differences in health differs between classes, and that taking class-specific horizontal gender segregation into account is needed in order to understand gender health differences.
    Keywords: Sweden; Health inequality; Gender; Class; Working conditions
    Date: 2018–03–09
  5. By: Kjellsson, Sara (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This study focuses on gender differences in working conditions and musculoskeletal pain without assuming gender differences to be general across socioeconomic classes. Using repeated cross-sections from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU), the aim is to i) describe class-specific gender differences in working conditions and musculoskeletal pain in Sweden between 1974 and 2010 and ii) to assess whether class-specific gender differences in musculoskeletal pain over time can be accounted for by working conditions. The sample consists of employed men and women aged 25-64, with sample sizes in each cross-section ranging from 2,329 respondents in 2010 to 2,925 respondents in 1991. Musculoskeletal pain is measured as pain experienced in the neck and shoulders; back, hips and sciatica; or joints. For working conditions, seven dummy variables for physical and psychosocial conditions, one for part-time employment, and a continuous variable for weekly work hours are used. Cross-sectional descriptive data show the class and gender structure of working conditions and musculoskeletal pain during the time period studied. Furthermore, class-separate linear probability models (LPM), including inter-action terms between gender and survey year, are estimated to investigate class-specific trends. The results indicate class-specific gender gaps in pain and their development over time; however, working conditions do not account for these to any large extent. Four hypotheses are formulated and partially supported. The gender gap in pain is larger among non-manual employees than the working class (supports H1). Physical conditions contribute to the gender gap among intermediate non-manuals (partially supports H2). The gender gap increases among assistant and high non-manuals but shows greater stability within the working class (partially supports H3). Hypothesis 4 assumes increasing gender gaps within all classes and is rejected. Generally, it is found that the explanatory value of working conditions for gender differences in musculoskeletal pain does not change over time in any of the classes. Hence, the results indicate that with regard to the mechanisms behind these class-specific gender gaps and their development over time, we must look beyond the working conditions investigated here.
    Keywords: Class; gender; musculoskeletal pain; working conditions; Sweden
    Date: 2018–03–09
  6. By: Onaran, Özlem; Guschanski, Alexander
    Abstract: The last four decades have been characterised by drastic changes in the distribution of income between wages and profits in both OECD countries and emerging economies. We have recently analysed the causes of the decline in the wage share in the developed and developing countries for a project titled ‘The causes of falling wage share and prospects for growth with equality in a globalized economy’ for the Institute of New Economic Thinking, and this paper summarizes our findings. We provide evidence that changes in bargaining power, in particular the fall in union density and welfare state retrenchment, as well as financialization and offshoring lie at the core of rising income inequality between labour and capital in both developed and developing economies. We challenge the established consensus that inequality is an unavoidable outcome of technological change or globalisation, and show the importance of labour market institutions and social protection policies.
    Keywords: wage share; income distribution; union density; technology; offshoring; market concentration; financialisation
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2018–03–03
  7. By: Onaran, Özlem; Guschanski, Alexander
    Abstract: Alexander Guschanski and Ozlem Onaran (2018) of the University of Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre provide evidence that changes in bargaining power, in particular the fall in union density and welfare state retrenchment, lie at the core of rising income inequality between labour and capital. The research challenges the established consensus that inequality is an unavoidable outcome of technological change or globalisation, and shows the importance of labour market institutions and social protection policies. The results of their recent project, funded by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, will be presented at the Royal Economics Society Annual Conference.
    Keywords: wage share; income distribution; union density; technology; offshoring
    JEL: J31 J51 J53
    Date: 2018–03–03
  8. By: Daniela Campus; Gianna Claudia Giannelli
    Abstract: Dramatic spikes in food prices, like those observed over the last years, represent a real threat to food security in developing countries with severe consequences for many aspects of human life. Price instability can also affect the intra-household allocation of time, thus changing the labour supply of women, who traditionally play the role of `shock absorbers'. This paper explores the nature of time poverty by examining how changes in the prices of the two major staples consumed, matooke and cassava, have affected the paid and unpaid labour time allocation in Ugandan households. We exploit the panel nature of the Uganda National Household Survey by adopting a Tobit-hybrid model. Our results show that gender differentials in the intra-household allocation of labour actually occur in correspondence with changes in food prices. We find that, overall, women work significantly more, since the additional hours women work in the labour market are not counterbalanced by a relevant reduction in their other labour activities. For men, we do not find any significant effect of price changes on hours of work.
    Keywords: food prices, labour supply, gender, Uganda.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Engelbert Stockhammer; Joel Rabinovich; Niall Reddy
    Abstract: Most empirical macroeconomic research limited to the period since World War II. This paper analyses the effects of changes in income distribution and in private wealth on consumption and investment covering a period from as early as 1855 until 2010 for the UK, France, Germany and USA, based on the dataset of Piketty and Zucman (2014). We contribute to the post-Keynesian debate on the nature of demand regimes, mainstream analyses of wealth effects and the financialisation debate. We find that overall domestic demand has been wage-led in the USA, UK and Germany. Total investment responds positively to higher wage shares, which is driven by residential investment. For corporate investment alone, we find a negative relation. Wealth effects are found to be positive and significant for consumption in the USA and UK, but weaker in France and Germany. Investment is negatively affected by private wealth in the USA and the UK, but positively in France and Germany.
    Keywords: historical macroeconomics, demand regimes, Bhaduri-Marglin model, wealth effects, financialisation
    JEL: B50 E11 E12 E20 E21 N10
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Akcay, Ümit
    Abstract: Turkey was shown as a model country by Western capitals in the early 2000s because it successfully embraced the neoliberal economic path and "moderate Islamist" values. In the last couple of years, however, Turkey has been in a state of turmoil, which has included the failure of the so-called democratization process and a rapid rise in authoritarianism. Surprisingly, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey has been among a few political parties worldwide which have managed to stay in office, despite implementing a neoliberal economic model since 2002. This paper suggests that the "neoliberal populism" framework can be applied to understand the seemingly contradictory dynamics of the so-called success story of the AKP. First, the paper explains the main features of the neoliberal populist model in Turkey. This model is characterized by the implementation of neoliberal austerity measures alongside the introduction of a new welfare regime and the widening of financial inclusiveness. The main result of neoliberal populism is the enfeeblement of labor movement. Second, the paper argues that once the neoliberal populist model was established, it changed the structure of the political conflict. In this new structure, power struggles have taken the form of intra-elite conflict, rather than class struggle. The paper also suggests that a recent change to the executive presidential system in Turkey should be understood in the context of a continuing power struggle among the ruling classes, one that has been unfolding since 2007.
    Keywords: Neoliberal populism,financial inclusion,social inclusion,Turkey
    JEL: P16 I38 J38 D74 H53
    Date: 2018
  11. By: Renaud Vignes (IUT Aix-Marseille - Institut Universitaire de Technologie Aix-Marseille - WUR - Wageningen University and Research Center - IUT Aix-Marseille - Institut Universitaire de Technologie Aix-Marseille)
    Abstract: L'homme de la Renaissance marque le point de départ d'une grande métamorphose qui conduira à la fin de la société aristocratique. Par la suite, avec homo oeconomicus l'économie s'émancipe des contingences sociales et politiques. Aujourd'hui, c'est dans la Silicon Valley qu'a été conçu un nouvel homme qui veut vivre dans une société « pratique » sans plus s'embarrasser des contraintes de la vie commune. C'est la société technocapitaliste qui va désormais lui offrir tout ce dont il a besoin. Dans celle-ci, le pouvoir d'organisation appartient à des processus technologico-financiers qui voient le libéralisme comme un projet dépassé et inadapté au monde contemporain. Dans ce sens, c'est un projet qui, non seulement ne peut répondre aux grands enjeux auxquels nous devons faire face, mais qui présente aussi de grands risques pour nos libertés.
    Date: 2018–02–06
  12. By: Philippe De Vreyer (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris-Dauphine, DIAL - Développement, institutions et analyses de long terme); Sylvie Lambert (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel survey to re-examine inequality and poverty levels in Senegal. In order to account for intra-household inequalities, the paper uses consumption data collected at a relatively disaggregated level within households. This data reveal that first, mean consumption is higher than measured by standard consumption surveys; and second, that consumption inequality in this country is also much higher that what is commonly thought, with a Gini index reaching 48. These findings affect global poverty estimates in opposite directions and in this context, nearly compensate for each other. Intra-household consumption inequalities are shown to account for nearly 14% of total inequality in Senegal. These results are robust to the existence of plausible measurement errors. As a result of this intra-household inequality, “invisible poor” exist with 12.6% of the poor individuals living in non-poor households.
    Keywords: Inequality,Poverty,Household surveys,Intra-household allocation,Senegal
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: Guschanski, Alexander; Onaran, Özlem
    Abstract: This paper provides international evidence for the effect of financialisation on the labour share at the firm level. We test different hypotheses about the impact of financialisation on functional income distribution, while also controlling for the effect of technological change, market concentration, labour market institutions and globalisation. We use panel data for publicly listed non-financial companies globally and with a particular focus on the EU15 for the period of 1995-2016. We find a negative effect of financialisation on the labour share due to increased shareholder value orientation in all countries, while there is also evidence of a negative effect due to an increase in mark-ups in France and the UK. Additionally, our findings cast doubt on the hypotheses that the decline in the labour share in European publicly listed firms is due to technological change. Similarly, market concentration did not play an important role for the decline in the labour share. In contrast, we find that concentration has declined among publicly listed firms in Europe, and that concentration is not associated with declining labour shares.
    Keywords: labour share; income distribution; financialisation; market concentration; technology
    JEL: J3
    Date: 2018–03–05
  14. By: Bueno, Nicolas
    Abstract: It may appear to be paradoxical to celebrate work as a human right in an economic system in which for many work is associated with activities that are rather repetitive or stressful, sometimes meaningless, and seldom freely chosen. After presenting the content and historical origins of the human right to work, as defined in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, this article argues that the right to work cannot be universally fulfilled in the contemporary state-centred global economy. Moving beyond economic discussions placing too much attention on how to provide enough but sometimes unfulfilling work, the article examines the human potential to reduce the need to work. It outlines the theoretical and definitional foundations of the ‘human economy’, where human potential and creativity are rewarded in order to make the transition from the right to work to the freedom from work. The human economy is a potentialist approach in which the right to be free to choose work plays an increasing role
    Keywords: right to work; human capital; post-capitalism; capabilities; basic income; freedom from work
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2017–12–01
  15. By: Marc Ingham (BSB - Burgundy School of Business (BSB) - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon Bourgogne (ESC))
    Abstract: While there are numerous publications on corporate social responsibility (CSR), few articles deal with corporate social irresponsibility (CSIr) and/or the links that may exist between CSR and CSIr. This "essay" paper presents a literature review on these topics in order to develop a conceptual grid that could help tackling the separation, coexistence and dynamic relationships that may exist between CSR and CSIr in organizations. The paper is organized as follows: after having discussed and clarified CSR and CSI concepts and presented a review of the literature that specifically addresses their characteristics and links, it identifies a set of behaviors adopted by organizations and their members. The focus is on the motivations that can guide companies to adopt CSR and CSIr behaviors, their ties, their positive or negative externalities and their possible effects on performances (economic, social, and environmental). It leads to conclude that, most of the behaviors organizations adopt probably fall (at various degrees) between an "exemplary" CSR, that would be an "ideal state" to which organizations can tender and a situation governed by deliberately and systematically irresponsible behaviors (which probably does not exist in the corporate sphere, except for criminal organizations). Are organizations looking like Dr Jekyll and/or Mister Hyde? Résumé. Alors qu'il existe de nombreuses publications sur la Responsabilité sociale des entreprises (RSE), peu d'articles traitent de l'irresponsabilité sociale des entreprises (IrSE) et/ou des liens qui peuvent exister entre RSE et IrSE. Cet "essai" vise à présenter une revue de la littérature qui fournit des éclairages sur ces questions dans le but de développer une grille d'analyse conceptuelle susceptible de rendre compte de la séparation, la coexistence et la dynamique des relations qui peuvent exister entre RSE et IrSE. Le texte est structuré de la façon suivante : après avoir discuté et tenté de clarifier les concepts de RSE et d'IrSE et présenté une revue de la littérature qui traite spécifiquement de leurs caractéristiques et de leurs liens, nous identifions différents comportements susceptibles d'être adoptés par les organisations et leurs membres. L'accent est mis sur les motivations qui peuvent guider les entreprises à adopter des comportements de RSE et IrSE, sur leurs liens, les externalités positives et négatives qu'ils peuvent induire, et leurs effets possibles sur les performances (économiques, sociales et environnementales). Ceci conduit à conclure que la plupart des comportements adoptés par les organisations se situent, sans doute à des degrés divers, entre l'adoption d'un comportement "exemplaire" en matière de RSE, qui constituerait un " état idéal" vers lequel elles peuvent tendre et une situation qui traduirait l'adoption de comportements délibérément et systématiquement irresponsables (qui n'existent probablement pas dans la sphère des entreprises, à l'exception des organisations criminelles). Les organisations ressembleraient-elles au Dr Jekyll et/ou à Mr Hyde?
    Date: 2018–02–28
  16. By: Banerjee, Swapnendu
    Abstract: We in this paper make an attempt to examine whether having a woman chief minister helps in reducing actual crime and increase reported crime against women. Also we examine whether economic progress affects crime against women. We find evidence that having a women chief minister has no effect on actual and reported crime against women whereas economic progress does lead to reduced crime against women. We also look at other socio-economic factors and find that increased female labour force participation, urbanization and policing increases reporting of crime whereas increased female literacy doesn’t necessarily lead to increased reporting of crime against women.
    Keywords: Crime against women, Economic progress, Women Chief Minister
    JEL: J1 J12 J16
    Date: 2018–02–07
  17. By: Tim Conley; Nirav Mehta; Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd Stinebrickner
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a model of student study time on a social network. The model is designed to exploit unique data collected in the Berea Panel Study. Study time data allow us to quantify an intuitive mechanism for academic social interactions: own study time may depend on friend study time in a heterogeneous manner. Social network data allow us to embed study time and resulting academic achievement in an estimable equilibrium framework. We develop a specification test that exploits the equilibrium nature of social interactions and use it to show that novel study propensity measures mitigate econometric endogeneity concerns.
    Keywords: social networks, peer effects, homophily, time-use
    JEL: C52 C54 I20
    Date: 2018
  18. By: Simon Cornée (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Marc Jegers; Ariane Szafarz (CERMi - Centre for European Research in Microfinance)
    Date: 2018–02–26
  19. By: Frohmann, Alicia
    Abstract: Reconociendo las brechas económico-sociales existentes entre ambos sexos, en las políticas comerciales más recientes se considera la variable de género para promover el empoderamiento económico de las mujeres. Esta nueva perspectiva se observa tanto en la incorporación de disposiciones de género en los acuerdos comerciales preferenciales, como en las políticas de fomento de las exportaciones. En algunos casos, se desarrollan instrumentos específicos para promover la igualdad de género en el comercio, pero también ha habido iniciativas para transversalizar la perspectiva de género en las disciplinas comerciales y en los instrumentos generales de apoyo al sector exportador.
    Date: 2018–01–31
  20. By: Mark Beeson
    Abstract: China has assumed a crucial importance in debates about climate change mitigation. On the one hand, China is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gasses and pollution. On the other, it has invested more in renewable energy than any other country and is making real efforts to address the consequences of rapid industrialisation. There are three key questions for students of comparative political economy that emerge from the Chinese experience: first, what is the relationship between economic development and authoritarian rule? Second, what role has China's distinct social and political system played in creating and addressing environmental problems? Third, what domestic and international implications does the ‘China model’ have? In short, will China's authoritarian leaders be able to manage the expectations of its own people and those of the so-called international community? This article considers the often paradoxical and contradictory nature of the authoritarian Chinese government's current environmental policies and suggests that while they may have some success at the domestic level, they may still be an obstacle to international cooperation.
    Keywords: China, environmental policy, authoritarianism, policy implementation
    Date: 2017–12–27
  21. By: Smith, Matthew (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to show that the Keynesian-Kaleckian demand-led theory of growth proposed within the classical framework of prices and distribution as articulated by Sraffa (1960), is superior to the neoclassical supply-driven theory in explaining economic growth. After showing the fundamental theoretical problem with the neoclassical supply-driven approach to growth, we expound a demand-led model of growth that abandons ‘steady-state’ and, instead, adopts an ‘historical approach’ in which the data is specified for historical periods of time. The model incorporates the contribution of technical progress to demand-led growth and, thereby, provides the basis to identify the most important political, social, and institutional developments that historically explain growth and economic development since the advent of capitalism. Our historical analysis shows how demand-led growth theory can provide the foundation for a new and more coherent interpretation of the history of economic development.
    Keywords: Growth; J.M. Keynes; Classical Economics; Economic History; Development
    JEL: B51 N00 O40
    Date: 2018–03

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