nep-pbe New Economics Papers
on Public Economics
Issue of 2010‒12‒23
seventeen papers chosen by
Keunjae Lee
Pusan National University

  1. Inequality, income and poverty: comparative global evidence By Augustin Kwasi Fosu
  2. Part time employment and happiness: A cross-country analysis By Jenny Willson; Andy Dickerson
  3. Sensitivity analysis of network DEA illustrated in branch banking By N. Avkiran
  4. Fiscal-Consolidation Strategies for Canadian Governments By Yvan Guillemette
  5. Does Fiscal Decentralisation Strengthen Social Capital?: Cross-Country Evidence and the Experiences of Brazil and Indonesia By Luiz de Mello
  6. Improving Fiscal Performance Through Fiscal Councils By Robert Hagemann
  7. Fiscal Decentralisation and Public Investment: The Experience of Latin America By Luiz de Mello
  8. Corruption, Voting and Employment Status: Evidence from Russian Parliamentary Elections By Olga Popova
  9. Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review By Arne Bigsten; Jörgen Levin
  10. Does Exporting Raise Productivity? Evidence from Korean Microdata By Sanghoon Ahn
  11. Does government ideology influence budget composition? Empirical evidence from OECD countries By Niklas Potrafke
  12. "How Rich Countries Became Rich and Why Poor Countries Remain Poor: It's the Economic Structure . . . Duh!" By Jesus Felipe; Utsav Kumar; Arnelyn Abdon
  13. An Efficient Test of Fiscal Sustainability By Vasco J. Gabriel; Pataaree Sangduan
  14. A decomposition of CO2 production emissions in the Andalusian economy By M. Alejandro Cardenete; P. Fuentes-Saguar; C. Polo
  15. Greenhouse gas emissions and the energy system: decomposition analysis and the environmental Kuznets curve By Borghesi, Simone; Vercelli, Alessandro
  16. Revisiting Indicators of Public Debt Sustainability: Capital Expenditure, Growth and Public Debt in India By Bhatt, Antra
  17. Emission Credit Trading and Regional Inequalities By TAKATSUKA Hajime; NAKAMURA Ryohei

  1. By: Augustin Kwasi Fosu
    Abstract: Analysing a large sample of 1980-2004 unbalanced panel data, the current study presents comparative global evidence on the role of (income) inequality in poverty reduction. The evidence involves both an indirect channel via the tendency of high inequality to decrease the rate at which income is transformed to poverty reduction, and the tendency of rising inequality to increase poverty. Based on the basic-needs approach, an analysis-of-covariance model is estimated, with the headcount measure of poverty as the dependent variable, and the Gini coefficient and PPP-adjusted mean income as explanatory variables. The study finds that the responsiveness of poverty to income growth is a decreasing function of inequality, and that the income elasticity of poverty is actually smaller than the inequality elasticity. Thus, income distribution can play a more important role than might be traditionally acknowledged. Found also is a large variation across regions (and countries) in the poverty effects of inequality. A version of this paper has been accepted for publication in Social Science Quarterly.
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Jenny Willson; Andy Dickerson (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: The relationship between part time employment and job satisfaction is analysed for mothers in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Spain and the UK. The impact of working part time on subjective life satisfaction and mental well-being is additionally analysed for British mothers. Cultural traditions concerning women’s role in society, and institutional differences between the countries are exploited. Results indicate that poor quality jobs can diminish any positive well-being repercussions of part time employment. The results additionally suggest that part time mothers in the UK experience higher levels of job satisfaction but not of overall life satisfaction as compared to their full time counterparts.
    Keywords: part time work, job satisfaction, well being
    JEL: J28 J16 J13 I31
    Date: 2010–12
  3. By: N. Avkiran (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Users of data envelopment analysis (DEA) often presume efficiency estimates to be robust. While traditional DEA has been exposed to various sensitivity studies, network DEA (NDEA) has so far escaped similar scrutiny. Thus, there is a need to investigate the sensitivity of NDEA, further compounded by the recent attention it has been receiving in literature. NDEA captures the underlying performance information found in a firm?s interacting divisions or sub-processes that would otherwise remain unknown. Furthermore, network efficiency estimates that account for divisional interactions are more representative of a dynamic business. Following various data perturbations overall findings indicate positive and significant rank correlations when new results are compared against baseline results - suggesting resilience. Key findings show that, (a) as in traditional DEA, greater sample size brings greater discrimination, (b) removing a relevant input improves discrimination, (c) introducing an extraneous input leads to a moderate loss of discrimination, (d) simultaneously adjusting data in opposite directions for inefficient versus efficient branches shows a mostly stable NDEA, (e) swapping divisional weights produces a substantial drop in discrimination, (f) stacking perturbations has the greatest impact on efficiency estimates with substantial loss of discrimination, and (g) layering suggests that the core inefficient cohort is resilient against omission of benchmark branches. Various managerial implications that follow from empirical findings are discussed in conclusions.
    Date: 2010–12
  4. By: Yvan Guillemette
    Abstract: Although Canada remains in an advantageous fiscal position relative to many other OECD countries as the global economy recovers from the 2008/09 recession, the deterioration in the country’s public finances has been substantial. Years of spending increases above trend economic growth have led to high structural levels of expenditure, and some Canadian governments are now on unsustainable fiscal paths, a diagnosis made starker when taking an even longer-term view that considers the fiscal implications of demographic change. Evidence shows that successful fiscal consolidations tend to rely on spending restraint rather than tax increases. When focused on restraining less productive expenditure, they can also boost economic growth. Fiscal rules can be useful tools in achieving budgetary consolidation, but also as part of the general fiscal framework to limit deficit bias and counteract the tendency shown by some Canadian governments over the past two decades to run pro-cyclical fiscal policies. Canadian governments with large deficits should announce deficit targets on the way to fiscal balance and should consider supporting these targets with spending growth limits. Other governments should also limit spending growth and target reductions in debt-to-GDP ratios, perhaps supported by budget surplus targets. Temporary fiscal stimulus measures should be allowed to expire as planned. To date, the federal and almost all provincial/territorial governments have committed to return to budget balance over the medium term and outlined plans to do so that focus primarily on expenditure restraint. These plans are broadly in line with the recommendations set forth in this paper and should allow Canada to return to budget balance over the medium term. Of crucial importance for the long-term success of fiscal-consolidation and debt-reduction strategies are public backing and transparency. The federal government should continue to support the Parliamentary Budget Office, and provinces should consider establishing similar independent fiscal agencies that can assess compliance relative to objectives and reinforce accountability. This Working Paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Review of Canada (<P>Stratégies d’assainissement budgétaire pour les administrations canadiennes<BR>Bien que la situation budgétaire du Canada demeure plus favorable que celle de beaucoup d’autres pays de l’OCDE au moment où l’économie mondiale se remet de la récession de 2008/09, ses finances publiques se sont sérieusement détériorées. Les dépenses ayant progressé pendant des années à un rythme supérieur à la croissance économique tendancielle, les dépenses structurelles atteignent aujourd’hui un niveau élevé et la trajectoire budgétaire prévisible de certaines administrations canadiennes n’est pas viable, en particulier si l’on se place dans une perspective à long terme tenant compte des conséquences budgétaires de l’évolution démographique. L’expérience nous apprend que les stratégies d’assainissement budgétaire les plus efficaces reposent sur des restrictions de dépenses plutôt que sur des augmentations d’impôts. Lorsqu’elles visent à restreindre les dépenses les moins productives, ces stratégies peuvent aussi stimuler la croissance économique. Des règles budgétaires peuvent non seulement être utiles pour assainir les finances publiques, mais aussi se révéler précieuses dans le cadre des mécanismes budgétaires généraux conçus pour limiter la dérive des déficits et contrecarrer la tendance à mener une politique budgétaire procyclique, observée dans certaines administrations canadiennes au cours des deux dernières décennies. Les administrations dont les finances sont très déficitaires devraient annoncer des objectifs de réduction du déficit dans la perspective d’un retour à l’équilibre budgétaire et envisager parallèlement de plafonner les augmentations de dépenses. Les autres administrations devraient aussi limiter l’augmentation de leurs dépenses et s’efforcer de réduire leur endettement en proportion du PIB, éventuellement en se fixant des objectifs d’excédent budgétaire. Les mesures temporaires de relance budgétaire devront venir à expiration dans les délais prévus. À ce jour, l’administration fédérale et presque toutes les administrations provinciales/territoriales se sont engagées à rétablir l’équilibre budgétaire à moyen terme, et pour ce faire elles ont défini des plans qui mettent l’accent sur le freinage des dépenses. Ces programmes s’accordent globalement avec les recommandations formulées dans la présente étude et devraient permettre au Canada de revenir à l’équilibre budgétaire dans le moyen terme. La mobilisation de l’opinion publique et la transparence revêtent une importance primordiale pour le succès des stratégies d’assainissement des finances publiques et de désendettement. L’administration fédérale devrait continuer d’appuyer l’action du Bureau du Directeur parlementaire du budget, tandis que les provinces devraient envisager de mettre en place des organismes budgétaires indépendants du même type pour jauger le degré de réalisation des objectifs et assurer une plus grande transparence. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE du Canada 2010 (
    Keywords: budgets, Canada, deficit, debt, consolidation, federal, provincial, fiscal, budget, Canada, déficit, dette, consolidation, fédéral, provincial, fiscal
    JEL: E62 H68 H77
    Date: 2010–12–06
  5. By: Luiz de Mello
    Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that, by giving people more voice in the government decision-making process, fiscal decentralisation fosters social capital, measured in terms of interpersonal trust. Empirical evidence based on World Values Survey data and seemingly unrelated probit estimations for a cross-section of countries suggests that people living in federal/decentralised countries find it more important to have voice in government decisions than their counterparts living in unitary/centralised countries. Pro-voice attitudes are, in turn, associated with greater social capital. The cross-country estimations are complemented by country-specific regressions for Brazil and Indonesia on account of these countries. experiences with fiscal decentralisation. The results show that the cohorts of individuals that have been exposed to decentralisation are in general more pro-voice (and trustful of strangers in the case of Brazil) than their counterparts that have not been exposed to decentralisation. These findings are not driven by the effects of political liberalisation on people.s attitudes towards the importance of having voice in government decisions and interpersonal trust.<P>La décentralisation budgétaire renforce-t-elle le capital sociétal ? : Données internationales et expérience du Brésil et de l’Indonésie<BR>On examine dans ce document l.hypothese selon laquelle en faisant participer davantage les administres a la prise de decision publique, la decentralisation budgetaire accroit le capital societal, mesure a travers la confiance interpersonnelle. Les resultats empiriques obtenus a partir des donnees de l.Etude sur les valeurs mondiales et les estimations probit apparemment non correlees pour un ensemble de pays montrent que les populations des Etats federaux/decentralises jugent plus important d.avoir leur mot a dire dans les decisions publiques que les populations des pays unitaires/centralises. De plus, les attitudes favorables a la participation se traduisent par une augmentation du capital societal. Les estimations internationales sont completees par des regressions specifiquement nationales pour le Bresil et l.Indonesie prenant en compte leur experience de la decentralisation budgetaire. On constate que les cohortes d.individus qui ont connu la decentralisation sont en general plus favorables a une participation (et ont plus confiance dans les etrangers dans le cas du Bresil) que celles qui n.en ont pas beneficie. Ces resultats ne tiennent pas aux effets de la liberalisation politique sur l.attitude des individus a l.egard de l.importance d.une participation aux decisions publiques et sur la confiance interpersonnelle.
    Keywords: social capital, Brazil, decentralisation, federalism, Indonesia, capital social, Brésil, décentralisation, fédéralisme, Indonésie
    JEL: H11 H30 H77
    Date: 2010–12–06
  6. By: Robert Hagemann
    Abstract: There is growing interest in the role of independent fiscal institutions, or fiscal councils, in helping to improve fiscal performance. This paper provides some guidance on the scope for improving fiscal performance through fiscal councils based on the available literature and the range of fiscal institutions in the OECD countries. The effectiveness of fiscal councils hinges on several factors, including having full autonomy within the scope of their mandates, active and unfettered dissemination of their analysis and their credibility. Experience and empirical evidence suggest that delegating macroeconomic forecasting to an independent fiscal council can indeed reduce forecasting bias. There is some empirical evidence that independent fiscal institutions can buttress a government’s capacity to comply with a numerical rule. Good fiscal institutions are a necessary condition for achieving disciplined fiscal performance. Experience demonstrates, however, that their existence is not sufficient. Without strong and sustained political commitment to a medium-term fiscal goal and, where relevant, to the mandate of a fiscal council, durable improvements in fiscal performance will remain elusive. This working paper relates to the 2010 OECD Economic Survey of the Euro Area (<P>Améliorer la performance budgétaire à travers des conseils budgétaires<BR>Un intérêt croissant est accordé au rôle des institutions budgétaires indépendantes, ou conseils budgétaires, pour contribuer à l’amélioration des résultats budgétaires. Ce document fournit quelques indications sur la possibilité d’améliorer ces résultats par le biais des conseils budgétaires, en se basant sur la littérature existante et sur la gamme des institutions budgétaires dans les pays de l’OCDE. L’efficacité des conseils budgétaires dépend de plusieurs facteurs, notamment de leur entière indépendance dans l’exercice de leur mandat, d’une communication active et sans restrictions de leurs analyses et de leur crédibilité. L’expérience et les données empiriques montrent que déléguer les prévisions macroéconomiques à un conseil budgétaire indépendant peut effectivement réduire les erreurs de prévision. Selon les données empiriques, les institutions budgétaires indépendantes peuvent étayer la capacité d’un gouvernement à respecter une règle numérique. De bonnes institutions budgétaires sont une condition nécessaire pour la discipline budgétaire. Toutefois, l’expérience montre que leur existence ne suffit pas. Sans un engagement politique fort et durable envers un objectif budgétaire à moyen terme et, le cas échéant, envers le mandat d’un conseil budgétaire, des améliorations pérennes de la performance budgétaire resteront illusoires. Ce document de travail a été réalisé dans le cadre de l'Étude économique de la Zone euro 2010. (
    Keywords: fiscal policy, fiscal councils, fiscal frameworks, politique budgétaire, institution budgétaire, conseil budgétaires
    JEL: H61
    Date: 2010–12–10
  7. By: Luiz de Mello
    Abstract: Despite large differences across countries, Latin America’s average investment-to-GDP ratio and the overall quality of infrastructure in the region are relatively low by international comparison. Empirical evidence on the effects of fiscal decentralisation on investment based on a panel of Latin American countries since the late 1990 suggests that fiscal decentralisation discourages Latin American subnational governments from investing (acquiring fixed assets) and that lower subnational spending on investment is associated with lower economy-wide gross fixed capital formation. Latin American countries will therefore need to face a double challenge of revisiting the current arrangements for decentralised provision that discourage subnational governments from investing, while making the most of decentralisation as a policy lever to raise private investment.<P>Décentralisation budgétaire et investissement public : L’expérience de l’Amérique latine<BR>Malgré des différences très marquées d’un pays à l’autre, le taux moyen d’investissement par rapport au PIB et la qualité globale des infrastructures de la région sont relativement faibles par comparaison internationale. Les données empiriques concernant les effets de la décentralisation budgétaire sur l’investissement pour un groupe de pays d’Amérique latine depuis la fin des années 90 montrent que la décentralisation budgétaire décourage les administrations infranationales de ces pays d’investir (c’est-à-dire d’acquérir des actifs immobilisés) et que de plus faibles dépenses d’investissement au niveau infranational se répercutent négativement sur la formation brute de capital fixe dans l’ensemble de l’économie. Les pays d’Amérique latine seront donc confrontés à un double défi : revoir les dispositifs actuels de décentralisation qui découragent les investissements des administrations infranationales et tirer le meilleur parti de la décentralisation comme moyen d’action pour accroître l’investissement privé.
    Keywords: Latin America, decentralisation, public investment, Amérique latine, décentralisation, investissement public
    JEL: H54 H77 O54
    Date: 2010–12–06
  8. By: Olga Popova
    Abstract: This paper examines to what extent the distribution of votes and voting behavior of people with different employment status are affected by regional differences in corruption. Using data from the Russian Parliamentary (State Duma) Elections 1999 and 2003, I develop and estimate a SUR system of equations which takes into account specific features of the Russian electoral system. The paper distinguishes between hard and perceived measures of corruption and analyzes the effects of corruption on the voting shares of particular parties and on voters' participation in elections. Additionally, a series of Monte Carlo simulations are performed to analyze the effects of corruption on the distribution of votes.
    Date: 2010–12
  9. By: Arne Bigsten; Jörgen Levin
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent research dealing with the relationships between economic growth, income distribution, and poverty. This generally fails to find any systematic pattern of change in income distribution during recent decades. Neither does it find any systematic link from fast growth to increasing inequality. The level of initial income inequality is not a robust explanatory factor of growth, but some recent empirical studies have found a negative impact of asset inequality on growth. [Discussion Paper No.2001/129]
    Keywords: pro-poorgrowth,incomedistribution,poverty,survey
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Sanghoon Ahn
    Abstract: This paper explores a plausible channel through which exporting could have made both a substantial and a persistent contribution to export-oriented economic growth in Korea and by extension other East Asian NIEs: namely, the spillovers (or externalities) of learning-by-exporting. Plant-level data for Korean manufacturing show that more export-intensive industries tend to have a higher productivity level. In addition, a substantial part of the variance in plant-level productivity is explained by the variance in industry-level export intensity. [ADB Institute Research Paper Series No. 67]
    Keywords: plausible, channel, substantial, economic growth, Korea, East Asian
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Niklas Potrafke (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether government ideology has influenced the allocation of public expenditures in OECD countries. I analyze two datasets that report different expenditure categories and cover the time periods 1970-1997 and 1990-2006, respectively. The results suggest that government ideology has had a rather weak influence on the composition of governments’ budgets. Leftist governments, however, increased spending on “Public Services” in the period 1970-1997 and on “Education” in the period 1990-2006. These findings imply, first, that government ideology hardly influenced budgetary affairs in the last decades, and thus, if ideology plays a role at all, it influences non-budgetary affairs. Second, education has become an important expenditure category for leftist parties to signal their political visions to voters belonging to all societal groups.
    Keywords: budget composition, public expenditures, government ideology, partisan politics, education policy, panel data
    JEL: D72 H50 H61 I28 C23
    Date: 2010–12–13
  12. By: Jesus Felipe; Utsav Kumar; Arnelyn Abdon
    Abstract: Becoming a rich country requires the ability to produce and export commodities that embody certain characteristics. We classify 779 exported commodities according to two dimensions: (1) sophistication (measured by the income content of the products exported); and (2) connectivity to other products (a well-connected export basket is one that allows an easy jump to other potential exports). We identify 352 "good" products and 427 "bad" products. Based on this, we categorize 154 countries into four groups according to these two characteristics. There are 34 countries whose export basket contains a significant share of good products. We find 28 countries in a "middle product" trap. These are countries whose export baskets contain a significant share of products that are in the middle of the sophistication and connectivity spectra. We also find 17 countries that are in a "middle-low" product trap, and 75 countries that are in a difficult and precarious "low product" trap. These are countries whose export baskets contain a significant share of unsophisticated products that are poorly connected to other products. To escape this situation, these countries need to implement policies that would help them accumulate the capabilities needed to manufacture and export more sophisticated and better connected products.
    Keywords: Bad Product; Capabilities; "Low Product" Trap; "Middle Product" Trap; Proximity; Sophistication; Structural Transformation
    JEL: O14 O25 O57
    Date: 2010–12
  13. By: Vasco J. Gabriel (Department of Economics, University of Surrey and Universidade do Minho - NIPE); Pataaree Sangduan (Bureau of the Budget, Thailand)
    Abstract: We suggest a multivariate efficient test of the 'strong' fiscal sustainability hypothesis, based on Horvath and Watson's (1995) cointegration test when cointegration vectors are pre-specified. Using data for a set of developed and developing economies, we show that, unlike our procedure, conventional methodologies tend to penalize the sustainability hypothesis.
    JEL: C32 E62 H60
    Date: 2010
  14. By: M. Alejandro Cardenete (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla); P. Fuentes-Saguar (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla); C. Polo (Department of Economics, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the energy sector in Andalusia, a Spanish region, and its importance from the viewpoint of final energy consumption, trying to determine which demands are the most costly to satisfy in terms of emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere. To do this, we apply an additive multiplier decomposition methodology to the Andalusian Social Accounting Matrix for the year 1995. The method implemented allow us disaggregate the Andalusian energy sector’s revenue-generating process into different effects depending on the source of the demand. To gain a better understanding of the behaviours of the different branches of the economy, we divide Andalusian productive activities into two groups, which we call subsystems (energy subsystem and complementary subsystem). We then apply the multiplier decomposition methodology to each one separately. This way, we can identify the influence that the final demand of each of these groups has on income generation and energy sector emissions in the Andalusian economy. The information obtained from this exercise allow know which sectors are the final main responsible of the emissions, and confirm that Construction and some branches of the services sector are the most costly in terms of CO2 emissions.
    Keywords: Social Accounting Matrices, Regional Accounts, Input-Output Tables, Energy SAM Multipliers, CO2 emissions.
    JEL: C67 D58 Q43 Q51 R13
    Date: 2010–12
  15. By: Borghesi, Simone; Vercelli, Alessandro
    Abstract: This paper discusses to what extent the recent trends in energy consumption and production are compatible with the requirements of sustainable development. For this purpose, starting from a simple identity applied to the energy sector, we use the decomposition analysis to derive a few analytical requirements for the long-term sustainability of the energy system and examine whether they are satisfied on the basis of the currently available data. From the analysis conducted in the paper, it emerges that an Environmental Kuznets Curve in energy intensity and/or carbon intensity may be insufficient to satisfy the sustainability conditions identified in the paper. Moreover, using simple graphical analysis, we show that the decomposition approach and the EKC imply two different relationships between per capita income (y) and carbon intensity (gy) and discuss the relative implications.
    Keywords: sustainable development; energy; global warming; environmental Kuznets curve; decomposition analysis; Kaya identity
    JEL: Q32 Q56 O13 Q42 Q53 Q43
    Date: 2010–12
  16. By: Bhatt, Antra
    Abstract: The paper tests whether productive expenditures share a long run re- lationship with debt to GDP ratio by using a multivariate time series framework. The theoretical model is based on dynamic optimization of utility and productive expenditure with respect to capital and debt. Literature on growth theory has suggested that all less productive expenditures can have a negative effect on the growth rate of real GDP per capita until the optimal level of productive expenditure is reached. This would indeed lead to higher level of debt as growth rate will be reduced. Aggregate yearly data for India covering the period 1980-2009 have been used. The CAPRATIO and Debt to GDP ratio are cointegrated. VAR modeling with error correction reveals that the model can be used for forecasts. The regression coecient between the two variables is negative, signifying the inverse relationship. Having proved the hypothesis of an inverse long run relationship between the two variables, a new indicator based on the Government Inter-temporal budget constraint is suggested, revolving around capital expenditure.
    Keywords: Public Debt sustainability indicators; Capital Expenditure; Growth.
    JEL: E62 C22
    Date: 2010–12–09
  17. By: TAKATSUKA Hajime; NAKAMURA Ryohei
    Abstract: This paper examines how regional inequalities are affected by emission controls via credit trading and availability of absorption sources. We assume that homogeneous goods are costly traded without emission controls and that the rural areas have an advantage in terms of the availability of absorption sources. We especially focus on the long-term effects of firm relocation. Our two key findings are as follows. First, in the case where an emission control scheme is implemented without allowing for offsetting emissions with carbon absorption sources (carbon sinks), strengthening the emission controls drives firms to relocate from rural areas to urban areas, in the case that wage levels remain unchanged in both areas. As a result, regional inequalities in terms of both the number of firms and relative public welfare are enlarged by emission controls. Our second finding shows that in the case in which the emission control scheme allows for emissions-absorption offsetting, strengthening emission controls has mixed effects on the relative welfare of rural areas. Numerical simulations show that when the costs associated with transporting differentiated goods are relatively low, the introduction of emission controls with an offsetting system results in greater inequality across regions compared with introducing emission controls without such offsetting.
    Date: 2010–12

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