99% CRs: famine in Ireland : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# 99% CRs: famine in Ireland

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99% CRs: famine in Ireland [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2004, 00:50
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Hi, everyone
I'm very grateful for the efforts all guys make at this forum and I want to contribute

I think that most CRs here are relatively easy and are not representative of 99% Verbal. I will post two CRs I found tricky. I have OAs and agree with them, so I'll post exlanations later. If you saw these questions before or even discussed them then skip this post

#1
Historically, famines have generally been followed by periods of rising wages, because when a labor force is diminished, workers are more valuable in accordance with the law of supply and demand. The Irish potato famine of the 1840s is an exception; it resulted in the death or emigration of half of Ireland's population, but there was no significant rise in the average wages in Ireland in the following decade. Which one of the following, if true, would LEAST contribute to an explanation of the exception to the generalization?

A) Improved medical care reduced the mortality rate among able-bodied adults in the decade following the famine to below prefamine levels
B) Advances in technology increased the efficiency of industry and agriculture, and so allowed maintenance of economic output with less demand for labor
C) As a result of the crisis, about half of all businesses in Ireland had to close following the famine
D) The birth rate increased during the decade following the famine, and this compensated for much of the loss of population that was due to the famine
E) England, which had political control of Ireland, legislated artificially low wages to provide English-owned industry and agriculture in Ireland with cheap labor
If you have any questions
New!
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09 Jul 2004, 00:55
I would go with C.

Explaination for C ----As a result of the crisis, about half of all businesses in Ireland had to close following the famine. Since more than half the business in total were effected, the job openings also decreased. Meaning, more people were jobless, and more people were available for other jobs. The supply of manpower was more, this reduced the demand, hence the was no increase in their wage.

I hope it is correct.
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Re: 99% CRs: famine in Ireland [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2004, 01:03
Definitely C
Half-an-Half Supply Demand equilibrium point unchanged
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09 Jul 2004, 01:07
guys, you didn't read the question carefully
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09 Jul 2004, 01:08
(D) it is,

If if the birth rate increase, the total working population will not increase, as the birth will only add childrens and not adults.
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09 Jul 2004, 01:09
Hi (this happens to me often .... I seem to miss the LEAST .. and invariably get the MOST factor)

Sorry my mistake .... It is D (the least !!!!)
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Re: 99% CRs: famine in Ireland [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2004, 01:16
I think it is C because it is not clear how C is contributing to low wages after the famine.
Even D is a close contestant, but nowhere nearer to C.

What is OA?

OlegC wrote:
Hi, everyone
I'm very grateful for the efforts all guys make at this forum and I want to contribute

I think that most CRs here are relatively easy and are not representative of 99% Verbal. I will post two CRs I found tricky. I have OAs and agree with them, so I'll post exlanations later. If you saw these questions before or even discussed them then skip this post

#1
Historically, famines have generally been followed by periods of rising wages, because when a labor force is diminished, workers are more valuable in accordance with the law of supply and demand. The Irish potato famine of the 1840s is an exception; it resulted in the death or emigration of half of Ireland's population, but there was no significant rise in the average wages in Ireland in the following decade. Which one of the following, if true, would LEAST contribute to an explanation of the exception to the generalization?

A) Improved medical care reduced the mortality rate among able-bodied adults in the decade following the famine to below prefamine levels
B) Advances in technology increased the efficiency of industry and agriculture, and so allowed maintenance of economic output with less demand for labor
C) As a result of the crisis, about half of all businesses in Ireland had to close following the famine
D) The birth rate increased during the decade following the famine, and this compensated for much of the loss of population that was due to the famine
E) England, which had political control of Ireland, legislated artificially low wages to provide English-owned industry and agriculture in Ireland with cheap labor

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Chandra

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Re: 99% CRs: famine in Ireland [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2004, 01:27
srijay007 wrote:
Definitely C
Half-an-Half Supply Demand equilibrium point unchanged

It really changes. The 2 line move leftward --> the equilibrium move leftward too. My answer is D.
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09 Jul 2004, 02:51
Hi Olegc...

Can you please post the official answer.... with an explanation (if possible)

For this one, I feel C should be the answer....

Thanks,

CG04
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09 Jul 2004, 02:54
I will post the OAs and the explanations tomorrow (about 6pm UK time) just don't have time now, sorry
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09 Jul 2004, 03:09
Question asks for the answer which is LEAST contributing to the explaination of Exception of the generalization i.e. LEAST contributing to the the explaination of Irish potato famine of the 1840s.

(A) (B) (E) clearly explains why there was no rising wages.

I will eliminate (D) also because since brith rate has increased which will lead to an increase in labour force in future.

(C) seems to be the best.

whatz OA?
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09 Jul 2004, 04:56
in C industries less.. workers less.. thus contributing to the generalization,

i feel it is D.

here we are saying birth rate which may increase (remember the worker rate not only depends on birth rate but also lot of other factors).

So D is LEAST contributing to the explanation.

syamee
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09 Jul 2004, 06:47

here is my explainations

A) Improved medical care reduced the mortality rate among able-bodied adults in the decade following the famine to below prefamine levels
==>The able bodied workers were available because of medical science advancement and so the supply was more then what was historically recoded. It adds to the explaination.

B) Advances in technology increased the efficiency of industry and agriculture, and so allowed maintenance of economic output with less demand for labor
==>Most of the work was done by machine so the the demand for the labor force decreased. It adds to the explaination.

C) As a result of the crisis, about half of all businesses in Ireland had to close following the famine
==>Well if the business shutdown why would you need more labor. How much labor was wiped out and how many factories were shutdown is out of question. Still It adds to the explaination.

D) The birth rate increased during the decade following the famine, and this compensated for much of the loss of population that was due to the famine
==> ANSWER. The birth rate increased but still we do not know if that birth rate added to the work force (child labor). In the next decade means just 10 years. If the famine is assumed to the of the previous level and wiped the labor out of the market still in the next 10 years, the new population may or may not work. It adds LEAST to the explaination or rather open to question.

E) England, which had political control of Ireland, legislated artificially low wages to provide English-owned industry and agriculture in Ireland with cheap labor
==>English exercised their control and brought the prices down for the english companies. This may have set a precedent for the domestic companies and force the labor to take a wage cut. It adds to the explaination.
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09 Jul 2004, 07:00
Fantastic. It is D. C is a quick trap I fallen into

Good job Bhai.

Bhai wrote:

here is my explainations

A) Improved medical care reduced the mortality rate among able-bodied adults in the decade following the famine to below prefamine levels
==>The able bodied workers were available because of medical science advancement and so the supply was more then what was historically recoded. It adds to the explaination.

B) Advances in technology increased the efficiency of industry and agriculture, and so allowed maintenance of economic output with less demand for labor
==>Most of the work was done by machine so the the demand for the labor force decreased. It adds to the explaination.

C) As a result of the crisis, about half of all businesses in Ireland had to close following the famine
==>Well if the business shutdown why would you need more labor. How much labor was wiped out and how many factories were shutdown is out of question. Still It adds to the explaination.

D) The birth rate increased during the decade following the famine, and this compensated for much of the loss of population that was due to the famine
==> ANSWER. The birth rate increased but still we do not know if that birth rate added to the work force (child labor). In the next decade means just 10 years. If the famine is assumed to the of the previous level and wiped the labor out of the market still in the next 10 years, the new population may or may not work. It adds LEAST to the explaination or rather open to question.

E) England, which had political control of Ireland, legislated artificially low wages to provide English-owned industry and agriculture in Ireland with cheap labor
==>English exercised their control and brought the prices down for the english companies. This may have set a precedent for the domestic companies and force the labor to take a wage cut. It adds to the explaination.

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Chandra

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09 Jul 2004, 07:02
wow, all these different answers are bewildering! I believe it's A (1min)
We are basically looking for an answer that does not give a probable answer to the reason as to why wages did not go up after the famine.
A) this is out of scope to me and does not give the explanation to lower wages
B) increased effeciency is a reason why wages were kept lower
C) businesses closing means less jobs available and more workers in the job market. Are workers more valuable? No. This is a reason that explains why average salaries did not go up (according to the given rule of supply and demand)
D) the birth rate increased meaning more people on the job market and a lesser value of labour. This again is a reason that explain the lower average wages
E) This is a reason that explain lower wages since England, the government, forced wages to go down.

Only A does not give an explanation to the lower average wages.
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09 Jul 2004, 07:04
Bhai, you are right. I just read your explanation for A and yes, it must be D
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09 Jul 2004, 09:17
I created a little formula to keep me sane when looking at this problem, took 10 seconds:
famine -->death --> scarcity of labor -->increased wages

I looked to see which of the choices do not help explain why there was an anomaly in Ireland. D is clearly the one. Newborn infants can't be the reason why the wages stayed so low.
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09 Jul 2004, 13:32
... but there was no significant rise in the average wages in Ireland in the following decade ...

Birth of new babies can not help to explain labor issue in this case since the time frame we are concerned is about a decade ..A baby can not work as soon as s/he came to this world, right?

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09 Jul 2004, 14:15
It took me two minutes to answer the question

I compleately agree with Bhai's explanation

I would go with D.

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Re: 99% CRs: famine in Ireland [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2004, 15:51
bigtooth81 wrote:
srijay007 wrote:
Definitely C
Half-an-Half Supply Demand equilibrium point unchanged

It really changes. The 2 line move leftward --> the equilibrium move leftward too. My answer is D.

Agree with D
Re: 99% CRs: famine in Ireland   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2004, 15:51

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# 99% CRs: famine in Ireland

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