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# Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay

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DogGoesWoof wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo For Question 3 I chose option E, but ,in hindsight ,I realized that option E compares jobs with similar environments and not jobs that have similar impact on the workers - can we use this subtle shift in the meaning to eliminate E?

Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes an application of the principles of comparable worth as they are described in the passage?

A. The current pay, rates of increase, and rates of promotion for female mechanics are compared with those of male mechanics.
B. The training, skills, and job experience of computer programmers in one division of a corporation are compared to those of programmers making more money in another division.
C. The number of women holding top executive positions in a corporation is compared to the number of women available for promotion to those positions, and both tallies are matched to the tallies for men in the same corporation.
D. The skills, training, and job responsibilities of the clerks in the township tax assessor's office are compared to those of the much better-paid township engineers.
E. The working conditions of female workers in a hazardous-materials environment are reviewed and their pay schedules compared to those of all workers in similar environments across the nation.

As stated in the final paragraph, comparable worth "takes as its premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs 1) may require a similar amount of training, effort, and skill; 2) may carry similar responsibility; 3) may be carried on in an environment having a similar impact upon the worker; and 4) may have a similar dollar value to the employer. The whole point of comparable worth is, as described in the first sentence, to compare the "values of certain tasks performed in dissimilar jobs."

So we apply comparable worth when the jobs are dissimilar but the tasks are comparable. Yes, the environmental impact upon the worker is mentioned as possible similarity. However, the fact that two tasks are performed in similar environments does not necessarily mean that those tasks are comparable.

Comparing "all workers" who work in a hazardous-materials environment would involve comparing a wide variety of tasks. This is not the application of comparable worth described in the passage, so (E) should be eliminated.
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Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes an application of the principles of comparable worth as they are described in the passage?

As explained earlier, comparable worth "takes as its premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs 1) may require a similar amount of training, effort, and skill; 2) may carry similar responsibility; 3) may be carried on in an environment having a similar impact upon the worker; and 4) may have a similar dollar value to the employer."

The whole point of comparable worth, as described in the first sentence, is to compare the "values of certain tasks performed in dissimilar jobs." So we apply comparable worth when the jobs are dissimilar but the tasks are comparable. Let's run through our answer choices to see which one matches this application:
Quote:
A. The current pay, rates of increase, and rates of promotion for female mechanics are compared with those of male mechanics.

This choice compares female mechanics to male mechanics. These are not dissimilar jobs. Therefore, eliminate (A).
Quote:
B. The training, skills, and job experience of computer programmers in one division of a corporation are compared to those of programmers making more money in another division.

Like (A), this choice compares programmers to programmers. These are not dissimilar jobs. Therefore, eliminate (B) as well.
Quote:
C. The number of women holding top executive positions in a corporation is compared to the number of women available for promotion to those positions, and both tallies are matched to the tallies for men in the same corporation.

Choice (C) compares the number of available candidates for a range of top executive positions. This tally of men and women available for promotion doesn't involve any comparison of tasks, so it doesn't match the application of comparable worth described in the passage. So let's eliminate (C).
Quote:
D. The skills, training, and job responsibilities of the clerks in the township tax assessor's office are compared to those of the much better-paid township engineers.

Choice (D) lines up with the way the author applies comparable worth almost word for word. In this case, the skills, training, and responsibilities required for one job (clerkship in the tax assessor's office) are compared to those of engineers (who are getting paid better than the clerks). We're looking for a comparison of tasks across dissimilar jobs, and this fits the bill nicely. We'll keep (D) around.
Quote:
E. The working conditions of female workers in a hazardous-materials environment are reviewed and their pay schedules compared to those of all workers in similar environments across the nation.

As I wrote earlier: The environmental impact upon the worker is mentioned as a possible similarity. However, the fact that two tasks are performed in similar environments does not necessarily mean that the tasks themselves are comparable. Furthermore, comparing "all workers" who work in a hazardous-materials environment would involve comparing a wide variety of tasks. This is not the application of comparable worth described in the passage, so we eliminate (E).

(D) remains the best answer choice.

I hope this helps!­
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
Hello experts,

KyleWiddison GMATNinja
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applebear wrote:
Hello experts,

KyleWiddison GMATNinja

Question #4 asks "which of the following [answer choices] best describes an application of the principles of comparable worth as they are described in the passage?"

To answer this question, let's look at what the passage says about the principles of comparable worth:
Quote:
Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay, insists that the values of certain tasks performed in dissimilar jobs can be compared.

The key concept here is that the "value of certain tasks in dissimilar jobs can be compared." This differs from other standards, which only seek to eliminate unfair pay gaps between people who have similar jobs.

Let's take a look at (B):
Quote:
(B) The training, skills, and job experience of computer programmers in one division of a corporation are compared to those of programmers making more money in another division.

In this answer choice, the wages and experience of computer programmers in one division are compared to the computer programmers in another division. Because these groups hold similar jobs as programmers, the principles of comparable worth are not applied in this scenario. Eliminate (B).

And here is (D):
Quote:
(D) The skills, training, and job responsibilities of the clerks in the township tax assessor's office are compared to those of the much better-paid township engineers.

Here, various aspects of a clerk's job are compared to those of an engineer's job. These jobs are not at all similar, so to compare them to one another, we must apply the principles of comparable worth. (D) is the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
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Passage Map: CW as a standard
p1: define CW gaining importance
p2: describe importance of CW and pose a question
p3: answer the question posed in p2 and value of CW

Q1:Purpose/ Main Idea
A - is incorrect because no critique is taking place
B - is correct but I didn't choose this. It's correct because the first 2 sentences of P1 describe how in the last decade CW has become a critical policy issue.
C - is incorrect because we are only told about the impact of CW on pay gaps, not procedures
D - we are told that CW is a standard, not a policy, and CW is described in terms of the labour market as a whole, not in specific cases
E - incorrect because we aren't summarising we are discussing the impact of CW as a standard

Q2 - Detail Question
A - incorrect as we are told that "other mandates", now CW, fail to remedy inequalities in p3
B - P1 last sentence we are told this. True
C - no such info is given. Incorrect
D - Not supported. Incorrect
E - Opposite. We are told the CW resulted in precedent setting gains - thus incorrect

Q3 - Application question
P3 tells us that CW""takes as its premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs may require a similar amount of training, effort, and skill" and that among the two Acts mentioned "Neither compares tasks in dissimilar jobs".
So we are looking to compare dissimilar jobs.

A - same jobs are compared. Eliminate
B - same jobs are compared. Eliminate
C - same job compared to supply. Eliminate
D - clerks compared to engineers. Correct
E - same job comparison. Eliminate

Q4 - Application question
We are asked to see what situations will NOT be remedied by other mandates. We know that other mandates only work for similar jobs.
i. same roles are compared - equitable outcome will be produced therefore Incorrect as we are looking for inequitable outcomes
ii. same industry but different jobs - mandates won't fix this - inequitable outcome persists. Correct
iii. same jobs are compared - easiest to eliminate. Incorrect

ii. is correct therefore B

Q5 - Detail question
The key difference between CW and other mandates is that other mandates don't compare dissimilar jobs
E - nails this. therefore correct
A - both CW and OM compare M and F workers - therefore incorrect
B - false - we are told both apply. Incorrect
C - we aren't told this. We are only told that CW considerst that dissimilar jobs have the same skills, not that CW emphasises these skills. Incorrect.
D - in no way are we told about resource allocation. Incorrect
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LoneSurvivor wrote:

Careful! The question does not ask us what central idea of the passage is. It asks us:

Quote:
1. Which of the following most accurately states the central purpose of the passage?

Well, here's how the passage breaks down in terms of structure and purpose:

• P1: Comparable worth has become a critical social policy issue in the last decade, as it's been more widely considered and adopted by institutions.
• P2: But one question remains: Are the corresponding gains in pay equity precedent-setting, or are they transitory (temporary)?
• P3: For many reasons, comparable worth pay adjustments are precedent-setting (perhaps even more so than major precedent-setting policies of the past).

Overall, the author is presenting a social policy change (widespread adoption of comparable worth principles) and explaining what kind of impact that change has made (a lasting impact). The question the author asks in P2 — has this change of policy really made a lasting impact? is the lynchpin of this entire passage. Everything before is the setup, and everything after is the answer.

Let's review the answer choices and eliminate any choice that doesn't match our understanding of the passage's central purpose:

Quote:
A. To criticize the implementation of a new procedure

Explaining why the results of a policy are precedent-setting is not at all a form of criticism of that policy. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
B. To assess the significance of a change in policy

Bingo! This captures what the author is doing with each paragraph, from start to finish. Let's keep (B) around.

Quote:
C. To illustrate how a new standard alters procedures

This sounds good, but if we follow the wording precisely, it doesn't reflect the central purpose of the passage.

The author does NOT use paragraphs 1 and 2 to present existing procedures, then use paragraph 3 to illustrate how comparable worth pay adjustments alter those procedures.

Rather, the author uses paragraphs 1 and 2 to present a policy and ask whether adoption of that policy has really made a lasting impact. Then the author uses paragraph 3 to answer that question in terms of outcomes (i.e, perceived unjustified pay differences are eliminated and more comprehensive valuation of work takes place across dissimilar jobs).

(C) misses the central point of the passage, which is why we eliminate it.

Quote:
D. To explain how a new policy is applied in specific cases

Nope. Not only does choice (D) miss the central point of the passage (to evaluate the impact of comparable worth policy), (D) doesn't even match up with the literal content of the passage — because none of the paragraphs was written to explain how comparable worth policy is applied in specific cases.

Eliminate (D) and move on.

Quote:
E. To summarize the changes made to date as a result of social policy

The author's objective in writing this passage is not to summarize changes made, so we can get rid of (E) as well.

We cannot answer this type of question by looking for answer choices that seem to match some part of the passage. Instead, we need a solid understanding of why the author wrote the passage as whole, and what each paragraph contributes to that purpose.

With that understanding in hand, it becomes much easier to reject answer choices that might sound accurate, but don't come close to expressing the central purpose of the passage.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
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manass wrote:

Quote:
5. According to the passage, comparable worth principles are different in which of the following ways from other mandates intended to reduce or eliminate pay inequities?

In the last paragraph of the passage, the author explains the differences between comparable worth and "other mandates" (i.e., the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). He/she says that comparable worth:

• is "more comprehensive" than the other mandates
• "compares tasks in dissimilar jobs," which the other mandates do not
• quantifies the "dollar value to the employer" of these dissimilar jobs.

Clearly, the main difference between comparable worth principles and other mandates is the treatment of dissimilar jobs -- the comparable worth principle compares these jobs to one another and quantifies their worth to the employer.

In looking through the answer choices, each one can be eliminated except for (E):
Quote:
E. Comparable worth principles can be used to quantify the value of elements of dissimilar jobs

(E) fits nicely into our analysis, and is the only answer choice supported by the passage. (E) is the correct answer to question #5.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
Hi, GMATNinja

In your explanation of this question,

Quote:
1. Which of the following most accurately states the central purpose of the passage?

I am still not convinced why B is correct. I understand how D (the option I chose) can be eliminated. I'd like you to take a look at my reasoning.

Quote:
B. To assess the significance of a change in policy

The policy refers to comparable worth. But where is "a change" in this policy mentioned?
Additionally, the second paragraph only describes a question: Are gains achieved through comparable worth long-lasting or temporary? Sure, this is a significance, but it is a significance of comparable worth itself, NOT of a change in comparable worth.

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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
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Question 1

dingodudesir wrote:
Hi, GMATNinja

In your explanation of this question,

Quote:
1. Which of the following most accurately states the central purpose of the passage?

I am still not convinced why B is correct. I understand how D (the option I chose) can be eliminated. I'd like you to take a look at my reasoning.

Quote:
B. To assess the significance of a change in policy

The policy refers to comparable worth. But where is "a change" in this policy mentioned?
Additionally, the second paragraph only describes a question: Are gains achieved through comparable worth long-lasting or temporary? Sure, this is a significance, but it is a significance of comparable worth itself, NOT of a change in comparable worth.

The "change in policy" is the shift to using comparable worth instead of some other policy. Take a look at this sentence from the first paragraph:

"In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal, state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable worth policies or begun to consider doing so."

The passage doesn't investigate at the significance of a change WITHIN the concept of comparable worth. Instead, it explores the significance of changing FROM some other policy TO comparable worth. The central question in the passage is whether the impact of implementing comparable worth policies is temporary or long-lasting. Thus, (B) captures the author's primary concern: "to assess the significance of a change in policy."

I hope that helps!
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
Hi GMATNinja, KarishmaB

Could you please help here and explain 5th question (5. It can be inferred from the passage that application of "other mandates" (see highlighted text) would be unlikely to result in an outcome satisfactory to the female employees in which of the following situations?)

I always get stuck in all such questions, where they mention things like unlikely, could you please help me here? How I can tackle all such questions.

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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
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AnkurGMAT20 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja, KarishmaB

Could you please help here and explain 5th question (5. It can be inferred from the passage that application of "other mandates" (see highlighted text) would be unlikely to result in an outcome satisfactory to the female employees in which of the following situations?)

I always get stuck in all such questions, where they mention things like unlikely, could you please help me here? How I can tackle all such questions.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that application of "other mandates" (see highlighted text) would be unlikely to result in an outcome satisfactory to the female employees in which of the following situations?

I. Males employed as long-distance truck drivers for a furniture company make \$3.50 more per hour than do females with comparable job experience employed in the same capacity.

II. Women working in the office of a cement company contend that their jobs are as demanding and valuable as those of the men working in the cement factory, but the women are paid much less per hour.

III. A law firm employs both male and female paralegals with the same educational and career backgrounds, but the starting salary for male paralegals is \$5,000 more than for female paralegals.

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) III only
(D) I and II only
(E) I and III only

First let's understand what "other mandates" are.

Notice this:
Because of the principles driving them, other mandates that can be applied to reduce or eliminate unjustified pay gaps between male and female workers have not remedied perceived pay inequities satisfactorily for the litigants in cases in which men and women hold different jobs. But whenever comparable worth principles are applied to pay schedules, perceived unjustified pay differences are eliminated.

Other mandates, because of their different principles (different from principle of comparable worth), have not remedied inequities when men and women hold different jobs.

So if "other mandates" are applied in situations where men and women hold different jobs, they will not lead to satisfactory result.

I. Males employed as long-distance truck drivers for a furniture company make \$3.50 more per hour than do females with comparable job experience employed in the same capacity.

Both males & females have same jobs here. So other mandates should work.

II. Women working in the office of a cement company contend that their jobs are as demanding and valuable as those of the men working in the cement factory, but the women are paid much less per hour.

Here, they are both working in the same company but they may have different profiles. So other mandates may not work.

III. A law firm employs both male and female paralegals with the same educational and career backgrounds, but the starting salary for male paralegals is \$5,000 more than for female paralegals.

Here, both are paralegals so other mandates will work.

Hence, only in (II), other mandates may not work.

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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
GMATNinja wrote:
The "change in policy" is the shift to using comparable worth instead of some other policy. Take a look at this sentence from the first paragraph:

"In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal, state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable worth policies or begun to consider doing so."

The passage doesn't investigate at the significance of a change WITHIN the concept of comparable worth....Instead, it explores the significance of changing FROM some other policy TO comparable worth. The central question in the passage is whether the impact of implementing comparable worth policies is temporary or long-lasting. Thus, (B) captures the author's primary concern: "to assess the significance of a change in policy."

I hope that helps!

Hi GMATNinja - per the yellow, you mention the yellow is the central message of the passage

I dont see how that in the yellow, is the central message AT ALL.

Instead i thought the central message was
-- "WHY" - I, the author, think comparable worth IS precedent-setting

The author is instead "justifying" his response to why he, the author, believes that Comparable worth is precedent-setting

Thus, the word 'asesssing' is wrong i thought

'Assessing' means - review / investigate / analyze -- 'assessing', does not mean - coming to any conclusion i thought

The author has gone beyond 'assessing' -- he has COME TO A CONCLUSION and is justifying his conclusion

Thus i eliminated B, because the author is not primarily 'assessing'

He is primarily giving us his conclusion and 'justifying' / 'defending' his conclusion

Thoughts ?
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Question 2

jabhatta2 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
The "change in policy" is the shift to using comparable worth instead of some other policy. Take a look at this sentence from the first paragraph:

"In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal, state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable worth policies or begun to consider doing so."

The passage doesn't investigate at the significance of a change WITHIN the concept of comparable worth....Instead, it explores the significance of changing FROM some other policy TO comparable worth. The central question in the passage is whether the impact of implementing comparable worth policies is temporary or long-lasting. Thus, (B) captures the author's primary concern: "to assess the significance of a change in policy."

I hope that helps!

Hi GMATNinja - per the yellow, you mention the yellow is the central message of the passage

I dont see how that in the yellow, is the central message AT ALL.

Instead i thought the central message was
-- "WHY" - I, the author, think comparable worth IS precedent-setting

The author is instead "justifying" his response to why he, the author, believes that Comparable worth is precedent-setting

Thus, the word 'asesssing' is wrong i thought

'Assessing' means - review / investigate / analyze -- 'assessing', does not mean - coming to any conclusion i thought

The author has gone beyond 'assessing' -- he has COME TO A CONCLUSION and is justifying his conclusion

Thus i eliminated B, because the author is not primarily 'assessing'

He is primarily giving us his conclusion and 'justifying' / 'defending' his conclusion

Thoughts ?

In paragraph 2, the author raises the central question in the passage: have comparable worth principles been precedent-setting?

In paragraph 3, the author then answers this question: yup, they have been precedent-setting.

There is nothing wrong with using the word "assessing" to talk about the author's purpose in this passage. The author has "assessed" comparable worth policies, and has found that they are pretty awesome.

Could you use another word, as you suggested? Sure! There's conceivably an answer choice out there that uses the word "justify" or "defend." However, because the author's main purpose is, indeed, to "assess the significance" of comparable worth principles, you can't eliminate (B). All of the other answer choices can be eliminated, so (B) is the correct answer choice for question 2.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay [#permalink]
KyleWiddison wrote:

You can also see in the first paragraph this section: "In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal, state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable worth policies or begun to consider doing so".

Comparable Worth is a new policy because it states that entities have adopted the comparable worth policies over the last decade. The adoption of these policies would represent a change in policy (from a different policy or no policy at all)...

KW

Why can't we consider "dissimilar jobs" as "specific cases" for this ques?­
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Kushchokhani wrote:
KyleWiddison wrote:

You can also see in the first paragraph this section: "In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, as large numbers of private-sector firms and industries as well as federal, state, and local governmental entities have adopted comparable worth policies or begun to consider doing so".

Comparable Worth is a new policy because it states that entities have adopted the comparable worth policies over the last decade. The adoption of these policies would represent a change in policy (from a different policy or no policy at all)...

KW

Why can't we consider "dissimilar jobs" as "specific cases" for this ques?­

We can consider 'dissimilar jobs' as 'specific cases.' But, the main purpose of the passage is not to tell us HOW comparable worth is applied to dissimilar jobs cases.

The passage tells us that comparable worth is important in that it is applicable to dissimilar jobs cases too.

Comparable worth, as a standard applied to eliminate inequities in pay, insists that the values of certain tasks performed in dissimilar jobs can be compared. In the last decade, this approach has become a critical social policy issue, ...

This widespread institutional awareness of comparable worth indicates ... However, the question still remains: have the gains already made in pay equity under comparable worth principles been of a precedent-setting nature or are they mostly transitory...?

Comparable worth pay adjustments are indeed precedent-setting. ..But whenever comparable worth principles are applied to pay schedules, perceived unjustified pay differences are eliminated. In this sense then, comparable worth is more comprehensive ...

All this points to how significant comparable worth is.

Comparable worth, on the other hand, takes as its premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs may require a similar amount of training, effort, and skill; may carry similar responsibility; may be carried on in an environment having a similar impact upon the worker; and may have a similar dollar value to the employer.

This sentence can be said to start the explanation on how comparable worth is applied to different jobs scenarios.
But most of the passage focuses on assessing the importance of comparable worth - that it can be successfully applied to cases where other policies fall.

How it is applied is not the main concern.­
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