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# Hardin argued that grazing land held in common(that is, open

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Hardin argued that grazing land held in common(that is, open [#permalink]  07 Mar 2005, 17:19
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Hardin argued that grazing land held in common(that is, open to any user) would always be used less carefully than private grazing land. Each rancher would be tempted to overuse common land because the benefits would accrue to the individuals, while the costs of reduced land quality that results from overuse would be spread among all users. But a study comparing 217 million acres of common grazing land with 433 million acres of private grazing land showed that the common land was in better condition.

Which of the following, if true and known by the ranchers, would best help explain the results of the study?

(A): With private grazing land, both the costs and the benefits of overuse fall to the individual user.
(B): The cost in reduced land quality that is attributable to any individual user is less easily measured with common land than it is with private land.
(C): An individual who overuses common grazing land might be able to achieve higher returns than other uses can, with the result that he or she would obtain a competitive advantage.
(D): If one user of common land overuses it even slightly, the other users are likely to do so even more, with the consequence that the costs to each user outweigh the benefits.
(E): There are more acres of grazing hand held privately than there are held in common.

My question :
The correct answer is (D), but I picked up (E). Can somebody help explain why (D) is a correct answer? Also, can you please explain why (E) is not correct?

As follows are the reasons why I picked (E) :
1.First, I understood that this is â€œstrengthenâ€
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Before I start, try not to post the OA until most people has a shot at it.

Conclusion: Common grazing land is in better condition than private grazing land even though common grazing land tend to be overused.

Which of the following, if true and known by the ranchers, would best help explain the results of the study?

(A): With private grazing land, both the costs and the benefits of overuse fall to the individual user.
- does not explain why common grazing land is in a better shape, or why private grazing land is in a poorer condition

(B): The cost in reduced land quality that is attributable to any individual user is less easily measured with common land than it is with private land.
- Again provides us with no useful information why common land is in a better shape

(C): An individual who overuses common grazing land might be able to achieve higher returns than other uses can, with the result that he or she would obtain a competitive advantage.
- out of scope.

(D): If one user of common land overuses it even slightly, the other users are likely to do so even more, with the consequence that the costs to each user outweigh the benefits.
- If this was true, common land would be less appealing to ranchers and they would rather use private grazing land than common grazing land. The consequence would be a lower quality private grazing land.

(E): There are more acres of grazing hand held privately than there are held in common.
- not important. All it tells us is there are more private grazing land than common grazing land.

(D) it is.
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Hello ywilfred,
First of all, sorry for my late response, but I couldn't have a chance to access to my emails due to BIZ trip through most of this week.

Thank you very much for your kind explanation. Let me have just one question to your statements below. In regards to (D), you are stating if this was true, common land would be less appealing to ranchers....., can you explain why "common land would be less appealing to rancher if (D) was true?

From CR statement, I saw it is natural that one rancher use more common land, since the cost of reduced land quality is spread among all users.

Look forward to your kind response. Thank you.

ywilfred wrote:
Before I start, try not to post the OA until most people has a shot at it.

Conclusion: Common grazing land is in better condition than private grazing land even though common grazing land tend to be overused.

Which of the following, if true and known by the ranchers, would best help explain the results of the study?

(A): With private grazing land, both the costs and the benefits of overuse fall to the individual user.
- does not explain why common grazing land is in a better shape, or why private grazing land is in a poorer condition

(B): The cost in reduced land quality that is attributable to any individual user is less easily measured with common land than it is with private land.
- Again provides us with no useful information why common land is in a better shape

(C): An individual who overuses common grazing land might be able to achieve higher returns than other uses can, with the result that he or she would obtain a competitive advantage.
- out of scope.

(D): If one user of common land overuses it even slightly, the other users are likely to do so even more, with the consequence that the costs to each user outweigh the benefits.
- If this was true, common land would be less appealing to ranchers and they would rather use private grazing land than common grazing land. The consequence would be a lower quality private grazing land.

(E): There are more acres of grazing hand held privately than there are held in common.
- not important. All it tells us is there are more private grazing land than common grazing land.

(D) it is.

_________________

Best regards,

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Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5134
Location: Singapore
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Kudos [?]: 87 [0], given: 0

Taku wrote:
Hello ywilfred,
First of all, sorry for my late response, but I couldn't have a chance to access to my emails due to BIZ trip through most of this week.

Thank you very much for your kind explanation. Let me have just one question to your statements below. In regards to (D), you are stating if this was true, common land would be less appealing to ranchers....., can you explain why "common land would be less appealing to rancher if (D) was true?

From CR statement, I saw it is natural that one rancher use more common land, since the cost of reduced land quality is spread among all users.

Look forward to your kind response. Thank you.

ywilfred wrote:
Before I start, try not to post the OA until most people has a shot at it.

Conclusion: Common grazing land is in better condition than private grazing land even though common grazing land tend to be overused.

Which of the following, if true and known by the ranchers, would best help explain the results of the study?

(A): With private grazing land, both the costs and the benefits of overuse fall to the individual user.
- does not explain why common grazing land is in a better shape, or why private grazing land is in a poorer condition

(B): The cost in reduced land quality that is attributable to any individual user is less easily measured with common land than it is with private land.
- Again provides us with no useful information why common land is in a better shape

(C): An individual who overuses common grazing land might be able to achieve higher returns than other uses can, with the result that he or she would obtain a competitive advantage.
- out of scope.

(D): If one user of common land overuses it even slightly, the other users are likely to do so even more, with the consequence that the costs to each user outweigh the benefits.
- If this was true, common land would be less appealing to ranchers and they would rather use private grazing land than common grazing land. The consequence would be a lower quality private grazing land.

(E): There are more acres of grazing hand held privately than there are held in common.
- not important. All it tells us is there are more private grazing land than common grazing land.

(D) it is.

Hi Taku,
Choice (D) says:
- One use of common land overuses it slightly
- The other users also likely to overuse the common land
- Consequence are the costs to each user outweight the benefits

We know from the passage, that a rancher would be 'tempted to overuse common land because the benefits would accrue to the individuals'.
Now if everyone overuses the common land to the extend the consequence now outweigh the benefits, then the rancher would be less attracted to use it since the quality of the land has dropped.
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Hi ywilfred,
Good day to you! Thank you for your quick response. Yes, I think I fully understand your explanation regarding (D).

I now understand the issue is which has a merit for the rancher, cost or benefit. Because the cost outweights the benefit, the common land was in better condition that the private one, correct?

Have a great weekend.

Taku
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Best regards,

GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5134
Location: Singapore
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 87 [0], given: 0

Glad to know you've understand the explanation, I'm sometimes bad at phrasing my sentences. Have a great weekend, and goodluck with your gmat prep.
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