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CR demographers doing research

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13 Mar 2008, 10:02
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Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton. They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.
The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without making any attempt to discredit that claim by offering additional economic evidence.
(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning.
(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance in Kuptala as in Bahlton.
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by ankurgupta03 on 13 Apr 2014, 04:17, edited 1 time in total.

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13 Mar 2008, 10:45
E

[AI] of [K] - the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala:
[AI] of [B] - the average per capita income in the country of Bahlton:

[P] of [K] - % people living in poverty in the country of Kuptala:
[P] of [B] - % people living in poverty in the country of Bahlton:

1st claim: [AI] of [K] << [AI] of [B]
2st claim: [P] of [K] ~ 0, [P] of [B] = 50%

The explanation of these visible disparity destroy conclusion: "one of the claims must be wrong"

Only E fully explains that: "It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita"
In other words, there are a few billionaires in Bahlton
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13 Mar 2008, 12:36
I chose E also. Statement E says that the incomes in Kaptula could be close to the median, and the per capita incomes in Bahlton are more disbursed with lower lows and higher highs.

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13 Mar 2008, 13:21
thanks. the OA is E by the way

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04 Aug 2011, 06:53
Good question.

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04 Aug 2011, 16:29
+1 E
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12 Apr 2014, 14:32
Hi,
Could anyone please explain what's wrong with option (b).
If the term poverty doesn't has a universally accepted meaning and thus, in both nations, poverty has a different meaning, then may be in bahlton people who are referred to be living in extreme poverty, they are of the same economical level as people who are considered poor in kuptala.
Though option (e) is also right but I was mainly confused between these two options...

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22 Jun 2014, 22:07
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Vavali wrote:

Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton. They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.
The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without making any attempt to discredit that claim by offering additional economic evidence.
(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning.
(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance in Kuptala as in Bahlton.
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.

Responding to a pm:

Let's understand the argument:

"Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton." -
Say average per capita income of K is \$10,000
Say average per capita income of B is \$40,000

"They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is possible with the numbers given above, right? Say, poverty is defined as < \$5000. Say, most people in K earn \$10,000. Very few are less than \$5000 and very few are above \$15000. Say most people lie close to the average.
On the other hand, it is possible that 80% of people in B earn only \$1000. Then the rest of the 20% must have very high income i.e. say \$150,000. In that case, even though average per capita income would be relatively higher, most of the population would be below poverty line.

"At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is incorrect conclusion. It is not necessary that at least one of the demographers’ claims must be wrong as we showed above with some numbers.

The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.

This is exactly what we thought. Incomes in K might be very close to the country's average so that very few people have less than average income (or below poverty line) whereas the gap between in incomes in B might be very high such that many people fall below the poverty line.

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16 Jul 2014, 04:40
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Can anyone please explain why option A is incorrect.

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16 Jul 2014, 22:33
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suhaschan wrote:
Can anyone please explain why option A is incorrect.

Could you first explain why you feel (A) is correct? Is it because of the complicated language? If you come across such an option, you should skip to others to figure out if you have a clear winner in others. They use complicated language only to play with your mind. Don't get bogged down by it. Read it carefully and analyze it, if you must.

The conclusion says: At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.

The two claims are
Claim 1: average per capita income in Kuptala is substantially lower than that in Bahlton
Claim 2: poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty

Option (A) says: "It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without ..."
Option (A) says: "It rejects claim 1 without ..."

Does the conclusion reject claim 1? No, not at all! It says one of the two must be wrong. It doesn't reject either one.

So option (A) is wrong.
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05 Nov 2014, 06:04
can someone please throw light on option "C " .

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10 Nov 2014, 22:27
vijaykumar1299 wrote:
can someone please throw light on option "C " .

The 'actual number of people living in poverty' has no relevance for our argument. We are discussing the percentage of population living in poverty and comparing that (which makes sense) - the 'actual number of people living in poverty' is not a comparable number and doesn't give any information about relative levels of poverty in the two countries. Hence, the actual number of people is irrelevant to our argument.
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