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Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States

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Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 05 Apr 2018, 19:58
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Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States tends to be narrower in scope, with an emphasis on manufacturing processes and specific categories of pollution, and little or no attention to the many other factors that affect environmental quality. An example is the focus on controlling pollution rather than influencing decisions about processes, raw materials, or products that determine environmental impacts. Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored. Other countries and several American states have recently made more progress in preventing pollution at its source and considering such issues as product life cycles, packaging waste, and industrial energy efficiency.

Environmental regulation in the United States is also more prescriptive than elsewhere, in the sense of requiring specific actions, with little discretion left to the regulated firm. There also is a great reliance on action-forcing laws and technology standards.

These contrasts are illustrated nicely in a 1974 book that used a hare and tortoise analogy to compare air quality regulation in the United States and Sweden. While the United States (the hare) codified ambitious goals in statutes that drove industry to adopt new technologies under the threat of sanctions, Sweden (the tortoise) used a more collaborative process that stressed results but worked with industry in deciding how to achieve them. In the end air quality results were about the same. Similar results have been found in other comparative analyses of environmental regulation. For example, one study of a multinational firm with operations in the United States and Japan found that pollution levels in both countries were similar, despite generally higher pollution abatement expenditures in the United States. The higher costs observed in the United States thus were due in large part, not to more stringent standards, but to the higher regulatory transaction costs. Because agencies in different countries share information about technologies, best practices, and other issues, the pollution levels found acceptable in different countries tend to be quite similar.

1/ It can be inferred that, compared to the United States, Japan spent less on

A ensuring strict standards
B minimizing pollution
C regulating firms
D research and development
E environmental cleanup


2/ The author of the passage would disagree with which of the following?

A Some nations are likely to put more focus on regulating industry than allowing industry a measure of autonomy.
B Varying levels of regulation can lead to similar levels of pollution.
C There is a complete lack of transparency in the different standards used by countries.
D The United States tends to regulate only a few aspects of the overall production process.
E Analogies can aptly summarize the primary differences between the environmental practices of two countries.


3/ The author implies that a country described as a "tortoise" is more likely to favor

A results over sustained collaboration
B a system of incentives for industries
C a process of decision-making that includes industry
D a more narrow approach to environmental regulation
E a slower form of decision-making that does not favor results


4/ Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author believes that countries similar to the United States in terms of environmental policy

A have poorer air quality than countries in which industry plays a role in environmental decision making
B will spend more on regulation instead of allowing firms to influence environmental policy
C do not stress immediate results but prefer an approach that will yield long term success
D are likely to have less pollution abatement expenditures than most other countries
E focus more on collaborative processes and less on sanctions


5/ According to the passage, as a result of stringent regulation of specific aspects of the production process other aspects of the production process are

A regulated slightly less

B adversely affected

C given undue consideration

D provided greater autonomy

E virtually overlooked


6/ The primary purpose of the passage is to

A contrast the environmental practices of the United States across a period of time

B advocate for an overhaul in the way in which environmental regulation is carried out in the United States

C compare the environmental and industry practices of two countries

D discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries

E describe prevalent theories in environmental policy and which one is best for the United States


Originally posted by aaba on 05 Apr 2018, 11:00.
Last edited by broall on 05 Apr 2018, 19:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2018, 15:34
It took me 16 minutes to solve these questions. I think it is due to re-reading. Need pointers to reduce re-reading.
Thanks in advance.
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New post 08 Apr 2018, 03:03
First things first - let's start reading the questions before we even read the text. Some questions it will be possible to answer by reading just one small portion.
Let's do it:

Question 1


It can be inferred that, compared to the United States, Japan spent less on:



This question should send us looking for a place in the text in which both the US and Japan are mentioned. We'll find it in the third paragraph:
For example, one study of a multinational firm with operations in the United States and Japan found that pollution levels in both countries were similar, despite generally higher pollution abatement expenditures in the United States
OK, so we know that the US spend more on "pollution abatement expenditures" - but what does that actually mean? Since the question tells us to infer, we're going to have to look for more clues. Let's read the next sentence:
The higher costs observed in the United States thus were due in large part, not to more stringent standards, but to the higher regulatory transaction costs.
There we have it: the US had higher regulatory transaction costs. Looking at the answer choices, it is clear this refers to (C) regulating firms.

Question 2


The author of the passage would disagree with which of the following?



This question sends requires us to actually read the entire passage, since it doesn't refer to any specific part.
After doing so, we'll review the answers, and ask ourselves - which of these does not fit?

A Some nations are likely to put more focus on regulating industry than allowing industry a measure of autonomy. Sure, the US for example. Not our answer!
B Varying levels of regulation can lead to similar levels of pollution. yes: the entire passage describes the different regulatory attitudes of different countries, while the final sentence explicitly says they end up with similar pollution levels. Not our answer!
C There is a complete lack of transparency in the different standards used by countries. Nowhere is this stated, and the final sentence says the opposite: different countries share information. Looks like our answer! We'll keep looking though, in order to be sure.
D The United States tends to regulate only a few aspects of the overall production process. Yup, this is said explicitly in the third sentence - some aspects are regulated, others ignored. Not our answer!
E Analogies can aptly summarize the primary differences between the environmental practices of two countries. We know of at least one case in which the author thinks this is true: the hare and tortoise analogy described in the third paragraph. Not our answer!

Questions 3


The author implies that a country described as a "tortoise" is more likely to favor:


This question sends us looking at the place where "tortoise" is mentioned, the third paragraph:
Sweden (the tortoise) used a more collaborative process that stressed results but worked with industry in deciding how to achieve them
Since it asks us what is implied, we must think logically about what this means, and not expect to find an answer which is stated precisely. If the process is collaborative and works with industry, it follows that Sweden would favor some measure which brings the industry into the process of building policy. This is exactly what (C) tells us: a process of decision-making that includes industry.

Question 4


Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author believes that countries similar to the United States in terms of environmental policy


Since this questions is quite open-ended, let's review the answers:
A have poorer air quality than countries in which industry plays a role in environmental decision making We're explicitly told countries with different approaches can have similar levels of pollution. No!
B will spend more on regulation instead of allowing firms to influence environmental policy This looks right - we are told that the US has higher regulatory costs than other countries, and that is less likely to allow firms to influence policy. We'd expect countries similar to the US to be the same.
C do not stress immediate results but prefer an approach that will yield long term success This is not stated: stressing immediate results appears to be true for both approaches, while focusing on the long term is not described or implied.
D are likely to have less pollution abatement expenditures than most other countries The opposite is true
E focus more on collaborative processes and less on sanctions Once again, the opposite is true

Question 5


According to the passage, as a result of stringent regulation of specific aspects of the production process other aspects of the production process are


Well, since this question is about "according to the passage", we'll take the Precise approach and find the specific place in the passage referred to:
Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
There we have it - other aspects are ignored. Looking at the answers, this is clearly (E) virtually overlooked

Question 6


The primary purpose of the passage is to


This is a question which requires us to have read the the entire passage, and once we have done that, to think about what we think it's goal is. Well, the first paragraph is a comparison of the US's environmental policy practices with other countries', the second is a continuation of this comparison, and the third is an illustration of the comparison. So, it's clear the goal is to describe the way environmental policy is carried out in the US and compare it with other countries. Looking at the answers, it is clear this is (D) discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries .

Another approach to solving this question would be to review the answers, and ask ourselves for each: if this were the primary concern, what type of passage would we expect to see? Is ths similar to the existing passage?

A contrast the environmental practices of the United States across a period of time This would be a description of changes in the US policy over time. No!

B advocate for an overhaul in the way in which environmental regulation is carried out in the United States This would mean that it should be clear which side of the comparison is preferable. But the bottom line here is that similar pollution levels are achieved across the different countries. No!

C compare the environmental and industry practices of two countries This should be a detailed comparison of two countries only - but the US is compared to LOTS of countries - nope!

D discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries We'd expect a passage with this concern to describe in detail how environmental regulation is carried out in the US, and then describe how other countries are different. Yup, that's exactly what we have!

E describe prevalent theories in environmental policy and which one is best for the United States a passage with this description would be quite theoretical, and would also have a clear assertion as to which theory is best for the US. this is not what we have at all
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New post 08 Apr 2018, 03:06
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narayandutta I hope my above answer can be helpful to you. The short answer is: don't read the whole passage more than once, and don't even read all of it until you have to. In other words, start from the questions and read only the parts they refer to. Sooner or later, there will be a question which makes you read the whole passage, but you will know what you are looking for, which can help you be more focused.
Also, don't read all of the answers, as this wastes lots of time. For each question, start by reading the question only, and ask yourself if you can formulate a near-answer before reading the answers. That way, when you do read the answers, you'll be able to skim and eliminate most of them quickly.
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Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2018, 11:32
Hi DAVEexamPAL,

I could solve the questions(all correct) in around 9:30 mins. Out of which, I took around 5:30 mins to create a map. I found the passage fairly easy. My question to you would be that,under normal circumstances, how much time should we spend on creating maps ? I generally like the detailed map approach as, I struggle with inference questions [it improves my factual understanding somehow!]. If I read more quickly (which I can), I tend to miss out on inference questions (They take me longer to solve around 2:30 mins). Main idea & structure questions come naturally to me, so not an issue.



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New post 17 Apr 2018, 01:16
Hey srinjoy1990, I'm not entirely familiar with the term "map", but I assume you mean reading carefully and summarising the passage. I actually advocate the approach displayed in my above answer: starting from the questions, and working through the text from there.
That being said, if you do choose to go the map route, the times you are describing seem fine: given that we have 2 minutes on average per verbal question, 9:30 minutes for these 5 questions is very good, and if spending more time on the map means you can solve the questions themselves in 1 minute on average, it seems worth it.
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Re: Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 14:56
srinjoy1990 wrote:
Hi DAVEexamPAL,

I could solve the questions(all correct) in around 9:30 mins. Out of which, I took around 5:30 mins to create a map. I found the passage fairly easy. My question to you would be that,under normal circumstances, how much time should we spend on creating maps ? I generally like the detailed map approach as, I struggle with inference questions [it improves my factual understanding somehow!]. If I read more quickly (which I can), I tend to miss out on inference questions (They take me longer to solve around 2:30 mins). Main idea & structure questions come naturally to me, so not an issue.



Thanks,



Dont feel stressed too much because
first, not all questions are counted towards your final grades.
second, verbal questions do not look familiar with patterns of questions from Manhattan, OG, gmatclub. So, there is no way to know how much you will spend on the reading comprehension.
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Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Apr 2018, 10:13
Took 9 mins 40 seconds in total, including 4 mins 20 seconds to read. All correct

1/ It can be inferred that, compared to the United States, Japan spent less on

The higher costs observed in the United States thus were due in large part, not to more stringent standards, but to the higher regulatory transaction costs
C regulating firms

2/ The author of the passage would disagree with which of the following?
A Some nations are likely to put more focus on regulating industry than allowing industry a measure of autonomy.-- Incorrect
B Varying levels of regulation can lead to similar levels of pollution.-- Incorrect -- US and Japan
C There is a complete lack of transparency in the different standards used by countries. - Correct
D The United States tends to regulate only a few aspects of the overall production process. - some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E Analogies can aptly summarize the primary differences between the environmental practices of two countries. --These contrasts are illustrated nicely in a 1974 book that used a hare and tortoise analogy

3/ The author implies that a country described as a "tortoise" is more likely to favor
C a process of decision-making that includes industry -- Sweden (the tortoise) used a more collaborative process that stressed results but worked with industry in deciding how to achieve them. In the end air quality results were about the same.

4/ Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author believes that countries similar to the United States in terms of environmental policy
B will spend more on regulation instead of allowing firms to influence environmental policy - Correct

5/ According to the passage, as a result of stringent regulation of specific aspects of the production process other aspects of the production process are
Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E virtually overlooked

6/ The primary purpose of the passage is to
D discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries -- Correct
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Re: Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2018, 00:13
Skywalker18 wrote:
Took 9 mins 40 seconds in total, including 4 mins 20 seconds to read. All correct

1/ It can be inferred that, compared to the United States, Japan spent less on

The higher costs observed in the United States thus were due in large part, not to more stringent standards, but to the higher regulatory transaction costs
C regulating firms

2/ The author of the passage would disagree with which of the following?
A Some nations are likely to put more focus on regulating industry than allowing industry a measure of autonomy.-- Incorrect
B Varying levels of regulation can lead to similar levels of pollution.-- Incorrect -- US and Japan
C There is a complete lack of transparency in the different standards used by countries. - Correct
D The United States tends to regulate only a few aspects of the overall production process. - some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E Analogies can aptly summarize the primary differences between the environmental practices of two countries. --These contrasts are illustrated nicely in a 1974 book that used a hare and tortoise analogy

3/ The author implies that a country described as a "tortoise" is more likely to favor
C a process of decision-making that includes industry -- Sweden (the tortoise) used a more collaborative process that stressed results but worked with industry in deciding how to achieve them. In the end air quality results were about the same.

4/ Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author believes that countries similar to the United States in terms of environmental policy
B will spend more on regulation instead of allowing firms to influence environmental policy - Correct

5/ According to the passage, as a result of stringent regulation of specific aspects of the production process other aspects of the production process are
Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E virtually overlooked

6/ The primary purpose of the passage is to
D discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries -- Correct


I have been learning to avoid words that come off as extreme. Does "Virtually overlooked" come off as extreme like it did to me for Q5? I had a big hunch towards that answer but played devil's advocate and answered A instead.
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Re: Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2018, 11:59
surfingpirate wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
Took 9 mins 40 seconds in total, including 4 mins 20 seconds to read. All correct

1/ It can be inferred that, compared to the United States, Japan spent less on

The higher costs observed in the United States thus were due in large part, not to more stringent standards, but to the higher regulatory transaction costs
C regulating firms

2/ The author of the passage would disagree with which of the following?
A Some nations are likely to put more focus on regulating industry than allowing industry a measure of autonomy.-- Incorrect
B Varying levels of regulation can lead to similar levels of pollution.-- Incorrect -- US and Japan
C There is a complete lack of transparency in the different standards used by countries. - Correct
D The United States tends to regulate only a few aspects of the overall production process. - some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E Analogies can aptly summarize the primary differences between the environmental practices of two countries. --These contrasts are illustrated nicely in a 1974 book that used a hare and tortoise analogy

3/ The author implies that a country described as a "tortoise" is more likely to favor
C a process of decision-making that includes industry -- Sweden (the tortoise) used a more collaborative process that stressed results but worked with industry in deciding how to achieve them. In the end air quality results were about the same.

4/ Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author believes that countries similar to the United States in terms of environmental policy
B will spend more on regulation instead of allowing firms to influence environmental policy - Correct

5/ According to the passage, as a result of stringent regulation of specific aspects of the production process other aspects of the production process are
Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored.
E virtually overlooked

6/ The primary purpose of the passage is to
D discuss the scope of environmental regulation in the United States and how it compares to that of other countries -- Correct


I have been learning to avoid words that come off as extreme. Does "Virtually overlooked" come off as extreme like it did to me for Q5? I had a big hunch towards that answer but played devil's advocate and answered A instead.


You're 100% right in ignoring extreme statements in GMAT R.C. answer choices but you have to look at the question as a whole in this example AND take a look at the relevant parts in the passage too. When a question asks "According to the passage..." it means the answer choice has to be directly in the passage.

The passage says:

"Regulation in the United States tends to isolate specific aspects of production processes and attempts to control them stringently, which means that some aspects of business are regulated tightly, although sometimes not cost-effectively, while others are ignored...." {1st paragraph}

So aspects of the business are
- Regulated tightly
- Not Cost effectively
- Or ignored

Answer choice wise:

A regulated slightly less - not relevant because they were regulated tightly, not less.

B adversely affected - n/a

C given undue consideration - n/a

D provided greater autonomy - n/a

E virtually overlooked - Correct. Why? Because the meaning of ignored is that something is as if it never existed. So virtually overlooked is correct in this context and not an extreme.
Re: Compared to regulations in other countries, those of the United States &nbs [#permalink] 21 Jul 2018, 11:59
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