nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒23
25 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Rental housing discrimination and the persistence of ethnic enclaves By M. Angeles Carnero Fernández; Lídia Farré Olalla; Mariano Bosch
  2. The separation of lower and higher attaining pupils in the transition from primary to secondary schools: a longitudinal study of London By Richard Harris
  3. Social Mixing as a Cure for Negative Neighbourhood Effects: Evidence Based Policy or Urban Myth? By Manley, David; van Ham, Maarten; Doherty, Joe
  4. Spatial network configurations of cargo airlines By Scholz, Aaron B.
  5. The Impact of Union Dissolution on Moving Distances and Destinations in the UK By Feijten, Peteke; van Ham, Maarten
  6. Municipal Finance of Urban Infrastructure: Knowns and Unknowns By James Alm
  7. Threshold transitions in a regional urban system By Jorge H. García; Ahjond S. Garmestani
  8. The rise and fall of spatial inequalities in France: A long-run perspective By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Miren Lafourcade; Jacques-François Thisse; Jean-Claude Toutain
  9. Capital allocation in the Greek regions By Liargovas , Panagiotis G.; Daskalopoulou, Irene F.
  10. The efficiency assessment of big cities social and economic development: a system dynamics approach By Shcherbakova, Nadezda
  11. Pre-Hire Factors and Workplace Ethnic Segregation By Strömgren, Magnus; Tammaru, Tiit; van Ham, Maarten; Marcinczak, Szymon; Stjernström, Olof; Lindgren, Urban
  12. The peer group effect and the optimality properties of head and income taxes By Francisco Martinez Mora
  13. Designing Economic Instruments for the Environment in a Decentralized Fiscal System By James Alm; H. Spencer Banzhaf
  14. Report on Children’s Profile at School Entry 2008-2011 By Orla Doyle; Kelly McNamara
  15. Public bus transport in Germany - a proposal to improve the current awarding system By Beck, Arne
  16. Explaining the structure of inter-organizational networks using exponential random graph models: does proximity matter? By Tom Broekel; Matte Hartog
  17. Multiple Layers of Credit and Mortgage Crises By Paula Hernandez-Verme
  18. Population density and regional welfare efficiency By Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
  19. New Evidence on the Causes of Educational Homogamy By Bruze, Gustaf
  20. Supply and Demand Identification in the Credit Market By Mauricio Calani C.; Pablo García S.; Daniel Oda Z.
  21. Do State Fiscal Policies Affect State Economic Growth? By James Alm; Janet Rogers
  22. Do eBay Sellers Comply with State Sales Taxes? By James Alm; Mikhail I. Melnik
  23. Endogenous growth through knowledge spillovers in entrepreneurship: An empirical test By Delmar, Frédéric; Wennberg, Karl; Hellerstedt, Karin
  24. Civic returns to education: its effect on homophobia By Kevin Denny
  25. Mobility, Competition, and the Distributional Effects of Tax Evasion By James Alm; Edward B. Sennoga

  1. By: M. Angeles Carnero Fernández (Universidad de Alicante); Lídia Farré Olalla (Universidad de Alicante); Mariano Bosch (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment to show that discrimination in the rental market represents a significant obstacle for the geographical assimilation process by immigrants. We employ the Internet platform to identify vacant rental apartments in different areas of the two largest Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona. We send emails showing interest in the apartments and signal the applicants’ ethnicity by using native and foreign-sounding names. We find that, in line with previous studies, immigrants face a differential treatment when trying to rent an apartment. Our results also indicate that this negative treatment varies considerably with the concentration of immigrants in the area. In neighbourhoods with a low presence of immigrants the response rate is 30 percentage points lower for immigrants than for natives, while this differential disappears when the immigration share reaches 50%. We conclude that discriminatory practices in the rental housing market contribute to perpetuate the ethnic spatial segregation observed in large cities.
    Keywords: immigration, discrimination, spatial segregation.
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Richard Harris
    Abstract: This paper uses methods of spatial analysis to show that lower and higher attaining pupils are separating from each other as they make the transition from primary to secondary schools in London. The observation is not simply a function of geography – that some places are more affluent, with a link between wealth and educational advantage – because separations emerge between locally competing secondary schools: those that are drawing their intakes from the same primary schools. Whilst the separations are partly exacerbated by selective and by faith schools, in all but one year during the period 2003‐8 they remain statistically significant even when those schools are omitted. However, there is no evidence to suggest the separation of lower and higher attaining pupils is getting worse or better, suggesting the geographical determinants of “choice” are strong and not easily changed.
    Keywords: primary school, secondary school, transition, London, spatial analysis
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2011–03
  3. By: Manley, David (University of St. Andrews); van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews); Doherty, Joe (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: In this paper, we review the evidence base for social mixing in neighbourhoods, which is used as a strategy to tackle assumed negative neighbourhood effects. We discuss in detail the theoretical links between neighbourhood characteristics, and outcomes of individuals living in concentrations of poverty. Through this we identify the theoretical case for promoting socially mixed communities. We then review the empirical evidence base, focusing on outcomes of the American poverty deconcentration initiatives including the Moving to Opportunity and HOPE VI programs. We identify that the evidence from these programs is at best inconclusive. Turning to the European experience we identify problems associated with using observational data to assess individual outcomes in relation to their neighbourhood context. We conclude by suggesting that the evidence base for social mixing is far from robust, and that many of the current empirical papers suffer from serious analytical shortcomings. Ultimately, the process of creating more socially mixed neighbourhoods is unlikely to create more opportunities in life for the original residents. Socially mixing neighbourhoods through tenure mixing will only change the population composition of neighbourhoods, increasing average incomes because more affluent (and employed) residents will move into the owner occupied housing replacing social housing.
    Keywords: neighbourhood effects, social mixing, tenure mix, evidence base, housing policy
    JEL: I30 J60 R23
    Date: 2011–04
  4. By: Scholz, Aaron B.
    Abstract: The paper evaluates the spatial dimension of air cargo networks by means of concentration and centrality measures. Three groups of carriers are analyzed, namely combined carriers, their pure freighter operations and pure cargo airlines. Differences in their spatial network configuration are observed between the three groups. Combined carriers operate very centralized networks with high concentrations at a small number of airports. Hub-and-spoke schemes are their predominant network configuration. The freighter fleets of combined carriers have lower centrality and concentration scores but hub-and-spoke schemes are still the predominant network configuration. Pure cargo airlines operate the least concentrated and centralized networks. Round-trip configurations are wide spread among pure cargo airlines to cope with imbalances of demand. --
    Keywords: air cargo transport,network configuration,centrality,spatial network configuration
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Feijten, Peteke (University of St. Andrews); van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: The number of people who have ever experienced a divorce, or a split up of a non-marital union, is rising every year. It is well known that union dissolution has a disruptive effect on the housing careers of those involved, often leading to downward moves on the housing ladder. Much less is known about the geographies of residential mobility after union dissolution. There are reasons to expect that those who experienced a union dissolution are less likely to move over longer distances, which could negatively influence the spatial flexibility of the labour force. This study contributes to the existing literature by investigating the occurrences of moves, distances moved and the destinations of moves after union dissolution. The paper also contributes to the literature by not only investigating the effect of divorce, but also splitting up, and repartnering on mobility. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and logistic regression models we found that union dissolution has a significant effect on the occurrence of moves and moving distances.
    Keywords: union dissolution, splitting up, divorce, housing career, spatial mobility, longitudinal data, BHPS, United Kingdom
    JEL: J12 J61 R21 R23
    Date: 2011–04
  6. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Date: 2011–04
  7. By: Jorge H. García; Ahjond S. Garmestani
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the evolution of city size distributions over time in a regional urban system. This urban complex system is in constant flux with changing groups and city migration across existing and newly created groups. Using group formation as an emergent property, transition probabilities across the different groups were calculated. While short-term transition appears chaotic in the intermediate and lower rank groups, long-term transition across all rank groups reveals system structure over time.
    Date: 2011–01–02
  8. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris); Miren Lafourcade (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut Cambrésis - Université de valenciennes et du Hainaut Cambrésis); Jacques-François Thisse (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA); Jean-Claude Toutain (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - CNRS : FRE2887 - Université Panthéon-Assas - Paris II, Université Panthéon Sorbonne - Paris 1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique database that provides value-added, employment, and population levels for the entire set of French departments for the years 1860, 1930, and 2000. These data cover three sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and services. This allows us to study the evolution of spatial inequalities within France and to test the empirical relevance of economic geography predictions over the long run. The evidence confirms the existence of a bell-shaped evolution of the spatial concentration of manufacturing and services. In contrast, labor productivity has been converging across departments. Last, our study also confirms the presence of strong agglomeration economies during the full time-period. Market potential during the first sub-period (1860-1930), and higher education during the second (1930-2000), together with sectoral diversity, account for the spatial distribution of these gains.
    Keywords: economic geography ; agglomeration economies ; human capital ; economic history
    Date: 2011–04–15
  9. By: Liargovas , Panagiotis G.; Daskalopoulou, Irene F.
    Abstract: The present study analyzes the location of new economic activities in the 51 Greek prefectures (NUTS III level) as the outcome of agglomeration economies and other factors that are acknowledged as determinants of new firm location. Cross-section data referring to the location choices of firms in manufacturing, commerce, services and tourism within 2005 are used. Results indicate that agglomeration effects largely determine a region’s attractiveness and appropriateness as an investment location. In addition, the effect of other factors such as demand, expected profit and cost conditions is identified as important. Interestingly, regional characteristics seem to affect in different ways the location of start-ups belonging to different industries.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; start-ups; location; agglomeration economies; regional development; data envelopment analysis; Greece
    JEL: L26 R11 R38
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Shcherbakova, Nadezda
    Abstract: This paper examines the actual problems of social and economic development of big cities. To assess the efficiency of this development, we have made a methodology, based on a system dynamics approach which meets the modern requirements. One of the main elements of the methodology is a system dynamics model of urban development. This model helps to determine the efficiency borders of this development, the cost of urban growth, tariffs on the urban infrastructure services. The results of such calculations by the example of St. Petersburg (Russia) are given in the paper. The elaborated methodology allows us to create mechanisms for managing urban development, directed to raise living standards of city dwellers.
    Keywords: Big City; Sustainable Urban Development; System Dynamics Model
    JEL: O18 R1 C61 O21 B41
    Date: 2010–12
  11. By: Strömgren, Magnus (Umeå University); Tammaru, Tiit (University of Tartu); van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews); Marcinczak, Szymon (Umeå University); Stjernström, Olof (Umeå University); Lindgren, Urban (Umeå University)
    Abstract: In addition to neighbourhoods of residence, family and places of work play important roles in producing and reproducing ethnic segregation. Therefore, recent research on ethnic segregation and contact is increasingly turning its attention from residential areas towards other important domains of daily interethnic contact. The key innovation of this paper is to clarify the role of immigrants' pre-hire exposure to natives in the residence, workplace and family domains in immigrant exposure to natives in their current workplace. The study is based on Swedish population register data. The results show that at the macro level, workplace neighbourhood segregation is lower than residential neighbourhood segregation. Our micro-level analysis further shows that high levels of residential exposure of immigrants to natives help to reduce ethnic segregation at the level of workplace establishments as well.
    Keywords: neighbourhood effects, residential segregation, workplace segregation, intermarriage, longitudinal analysis, Sweden
    JEL: J15 J61 R23
    Date: 2011–04
  12. By: Francisco Martinez Mora
    Abstract: This paper studies a Tiebout model with two school districts, housing markets and peer effects to re-evaluate the optimality properties of the allocation of households to districts induced by head and income taxes. The main novel results reveal that head taxes are not superior to income taxes and that the indirect redistribution implied by income taxation is not necessarily at odds with location optimality or associated to welfare losses. Many combinations of head taxes differentiated by household type can sustain the optimal outcome as an equilibrium. While this may not be possible using differentiated income taxes, a combination of non-differentiated ones and differentiated head taxes levied on the residents of the rich district can lead to the optimal outcome and effect significant local redistribution. In turn, non-differentiated head taxes are suboptimal (unless optimality requires one of the districts to be type-homogeneous) and a combination of uniform income taxes and head taxes levied on the rich district's population can do as well as them. Moreover, non-differentiated income taxes may generate smaller welfare losses than their lump-sum counterpart, a result which clashes with the benefit view of head taxes.
    Keywords: Tiebout; peer effects; head tax, income tax; optimality
    Date: 2011–04
  13. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University); H. Spencer Banzhaf (Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: When external effects are important, markets will be inefficient, and economists have considered several broad classes of economic instruments to correct these inefficiencies. However, the standard economic analysis has tended to take the region, and the government, as a given; that is, this work has neglected important distinctions and interactions between the geographic scope of different pollutants, the enforcement authority of various levels of government, and the fiscal responsibilities of the various levels of government. It typically ignores the possibility that the externality may be created and addressed by local governments, and it does not consider the implications of decentralization for the design of economic instruments targeted at environmental problems. This paper examines the implications of decentralization for the design of corrective policies; that is, how does one design economic instruments in a decentralized fiscal system in which externalities exist at the local level and in which subnational governments have the power to provide local public services and to choose tax instruments that can both finance these expenditures and correct the market failures of externalities?
    Keywords: market failure, environmental federalism, externalities, fiscal decentralization, subsidiarity principle, economic instruments
    JEL: H2 H4 H7 Q5
    Date: 2011–04
  14. By: Orla Doyle (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin); Kelly McNamara (UCD Geary Institute, University College Dublin)
    Date: 2011–03–31
  15. By: Beck, Arne
    Abstract: --
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Tom Broekel; Matte Hartog
    Abstract: A key question raised in recent years is which factors determine the structure of inter-organizational networks. While the focus has primarily been on different forms of proximity between organizations, which are determinants at the dyad level, recently determinants at the node and structural level have been highlighted as well. To identify the relative importance of determinants at these three different levels for the structure of networks that are observable at only one point in time, we propose the use of exponential random graph models. Their usefulness is exemplified by an analysis of the structure of the knowledge network in the Dutch aviation industry in 2008 for which we find determinants at all different levels to matter. Out of different forms of proximity, we find that once we control for determinants at the node and structural network level, only social proximity remains significant.
    Keywords: exponential random graph models, inter-organizational network structure, network analysis, proximity, aviation industry, economic geography
    JEL: R11 D85 L14 L62
    Date: 2011–04
  17. By: Paula Hernandez-Verme (Department of Economics and Finance, Universidad de Guanajuato)
    Abstract: I examine a production economy with a financial sector that contains multiple layers of credit. Such layers are designed to constitute credit chains which are inclusive of a simple mortgage market. The focus is on the nature and contagion properties of credit chains in an economy where the financial sector plays a real allocative role and agents have a nontrivial choice of whether to default on mortgages or not. Multiple equilibria with different rates of default are observed, due to the presence of strategic complementarities. Default can trigger a financial crisis as well as constrain the purchases of factors of production, thus leading to potentially serious effects on real activity.
    Keywords: Endogenous default, Mortgage Crises, Payments System
    JEL: E44 E52 E58
    Date: 2011–04
  18. By: Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates an evaluation of welfare policies and regional allocation of public investment using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Specifically, the efficiency of the welfare policies of the Greek prefectures for the census years of 1980, 1990 and 2000 are compared and analyzed. The paper using bootstrap techniques on unconditional and conditional full frontier applications determines whether the government investments have been used efficiently by the local authorities in order to stimulate regional welfare among the Greek prefectures. Our empirical results indicate that there are major welfare inefficiencies among the prefectures over the three census years. The analysis reveals that the population density among the Greek prefectures hasn’t been taken into account in regional welfare planning over the years. In addition, the paper demonstrates empirically how the new advances in DEA analysis can be incorporated into different stages of regional planning investment and evaluation. In addition, the impact of external factors can be directly measured and evaluated accordingly.
    Keywords: Regional development; Welfare policies; Conditional DEA; Bootstrap techniques; Kernel density estimation
    JEL: O18 C02 P25
    Date: 2011–04
  19. By: Bruze, Gustaf (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Educational homogamy is an important but poorly understood source of inequality. This paper analyzes a group of men and women who do not meet their spouses in school, are not sorted by education at work, and have no financial incentives to marry educated spouses. Nevertheless, movie actors show a strong tendency to sort positively on education in marriage. These findings suggest that male and female preferences alone induce considerable sorting on education in marriage and that men and women have very strong preferences for nonfinancial partner traits correlated with years of education
    Keywords: Educational Homogamy; Sorting; Inequality; Marriage
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2010–11–01
  20. By: Mauricio Calani C.; Pablo García S.; Daniel Oda Z.
    Abstract: This paper identifies supply and demand functions in the Chilean credit market. The analysis divides credit into three categories by debtor type, namely consumption, commercial and housing loans. We successfully exploit novel bank-level data on non-price covenants to address the simultaneous equation endogeneity problem in the estimation of interest rate elasticities. Our truly unique panel data set covers the 2003-2009 period and combines information on loan amount allocation, interest rates, balance sheet indicators with information from the “Survey on General Conditions and Standards in the Credit Market”, conducted by the Central Bank of Chile since 2003. Additionally, we characterize the statistical determinants of the survey responses, and later we use our estimation results for understanding the credit contraction episode of the second half of 2008, during the global financial turmoil.
    Date: 2010–04
  21. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University); Janet Rogers (Department of Planning Section, Nevada Department of Administration Division of Budget & Planning)
    Abstract: What factors influence state economic growth? This paper uses annual state (and local) data for the years 1947 to 1997 for the 48 contiguous states to estimate the effects of a large number of factors, including taxation and expenditure policies, on state economic growth. A special feature of the empirical work is the use of orthogonal distance regression (ODR) to deal with the likely presence of measurement error in many of the variables. The results indicate that the correlation between state (and state and local) taxation policies is often statistically significant but also quite sensitive to the specific regressor set and time period; in contrast, the effects of expenditure policies are much more consistent. Of some interest, there is moderately strong evidence that a state's political orientation has consistent and measurable effects on economic growth; perhaps surprisingly, a more "conservative" political orientation is associated with lower rates of economic growth. Finally, correction for measurement error is essential in estimating the growth impacts of policies. Indeed, when measurement error is considered via ODR estimation, the estimation results do not support conditional convergence in state per capita income.
    Keywords: fiscal policies, regional economic growth, orthogonal distance regression
    JEL: H2 H7 O1 O4 R1 R5
    Date: 2011–04
  22. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University); Mikhail I. Melnik (Department of Commerce, College of Business Administration, Niagara University)
    Abstract: The rapid growth in online commerce has harmed state sales tax bases. However, the extent of this base reduction is difficult to estimate. In this paper we collect our own data from on a "representative" commodity classification and a "typical" day. Our data consist of nearly twenty-one thousand eBay listings generated by over seven thousand individual sellers with over ninety-three hundred buyers. We find that overall eBay seller compliance is quite low but that compliance by established sellers is significantly higher. Given that established sellers account for the bulk of online commerce, the estimated revenue loss from eBay seller noncompliance may be relatively small.
    Keywords: online commerce, sales taxes, nexus, tax evasion
    JEL: H26 H71
    Date: 2011–04
  23. By: Delmar, Frédéric (Research Institute of Industrial Economics and Center for Research in New Venture Creation and Growth); Wennberg, Karl (The Ratio Institute and Stockholm School of Economics); Hellerstedt, Karin (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: Endogenous growth theory is based on the notion that technological knowledge stimulates growth, yet the micro foundations of this process are rarely investigated and remain obscure. Knowledge spillover theory posits that growth is contingent on the technology dependence of industries, forming the landscape for technology entrepreneurs to launch and grow new ventures. We investigate these theoretical contingencies of endogenous growth with two research questions at two levels of analysis: First, do industries with a greater need for new technology-based entrepreneurship grow disproportionately faster than other industries? Second, do the knowledge spillover effects foster the growth of new technology based firms contingent on certain industry structures? These questions are examined empirically, using a comprehensive employee-employer data set on the science and technology labor force in Sweden from 1995 to 2002.
    Keywords: Endogenous Growth; Entrepreneurship; Industry Evolution
    JEL: D24 L11 L26 M13
    Date: 2011–04–12
  24. By: Kevin Denny (School of Economics and Geary Institute, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the question of whether higher levels of education contribute to greater tolerance of homosexuals. Using survey data for Ireland and exploiting a major reform to education, the abolition of fees for secondary schools in 1968, it is shown that increases in education causes individuals to be significantly more tolerant of homosexuals. Ignoring the endogeneity of education leads to much lower estimates of the effect of education. Replicating the model with data for the United Kingdom generates very similar results.
    Keywords: education, homophobia, tolerance, social returns
    Date: 2011–04–14
  25. By: James Alm (Department of Economics, Tulane University); Edward B. Sennoga (Uganda Field Office, African Development Bank)
    Abstract: The standard assumption underlying the incidence of tax evasion is that the beneficiaries are those who successfully evade their taxes. However, a general equilibrium process of adjustment should occur through changes in the relative prices of both commodities and factors of production as resources move into and out of the relevant activities, and these changes should tend to reduce any initial benefit from evasion. In this paper we analyze these incidence effects, using a computable general equilibrium model of an economy with a formal (and taxed) sector and an informal (and untaxed) sector, in order to examine how much of the initial benefit of income tax evasion is retained by the evaders and how much is shifted via factor and commodity price changes stemming from mobility. Our simulation results show that the household that successfully evades its income tax liabilities has a post-evasion welfare that is only slightly higher than its post-tax welfare if it had fully complied with taxes. Further, while this household keeps some of its initial increase in welfare, a large percentage of this initial gain is competed away as a result of mobility that reflects competition and entry into the informal sector. Consequently, the evading household benefits only marginally from successful income tax evasion, and this advantage diminishes with mobility via competition/entry in the informal sector.
    Keywords: tax evasion, computable general equilibrium model, social accounting matrix
    JEL: H26 H22
    Date: 2011–04

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