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# Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint

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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
I got "D" for question 1 from:
"Furthermore, even a decrease in pastureland acreage may be an ambiguous indicator of herd sizes—for example, as the medieval economy became increasingly oriented to markets"

decrease in pastureland acreage --- indicator of herd sizes --- example: economy became increasingly oriented to markets
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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cjhyou700 wrote:
I got "D" for question 1 from:
"Furthermore, even a decrease in pastureland acreage may be an ambiguous indicator of herd sizes—for example, as the medieval economy became increasingly oriented to markets"

decrease in pastureland acreage --- indicator of herd sizes --- example: economy became increasingly oriented to markets

but that is not the "view of most economic historians", is it?
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
FarahE

Hi, thank you for reaching out. I am not really good at RC, but I will try to explain my thoughts.

The passage started with "economic historians usually assume that ", so in my understanding the whole passage is about describing historian's opinions.

I didn't pay attention on your point, because otherwise I cannot choose an answer.

I eliminated B because "one study did find high volumes of cereal production together with low ratios of pastureland to cropland in some regions in the thirteenth century, these higher cereal yields could have resulted from new institutional arrangements governing agricultural work rather than from increases in cropland acreage"
The passage provided another reason that could explain the amount of cereal yields.

I guess I got it right with a bit of luck.
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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GMATNinja Why is Question 1 answer D?
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maintained by medieval European farmers was inversely related to medieval cereal production: land devoted to crop farming could not be used for pasturing animals, and vice versa. Thus, one historian has postulated a pastoral crisis in thirteenth-century Europe, arguing that the amount of pasture land, and hence herd size, must have diminished during the period, since cereal harvests are known to have increased. However, the rising costs of pasturage in the thirteenth century, which this historian cites as evidence of a shortage caused by declines in pastureland acreage, could have resulted instead from increased demand for pasturage as wool prices rose and sheep flocks grew. In fact, although one study did find high volumes of cereal production together with low ratios of pastureland to cropland in some regions in the thirteenth century, these higher cereal yields could have resulted from new institutional arrangements governing agricultural work rather than from increases in cropland acreage. Furthermore, even a decrease in pastureland acreage may be an ambiguous indicator of herd sizes—for example, as the medieval economy became increasingly oriented to markets, farmers may have expanded production of cereals such as oats to feed the working draft animals (oxen and horses) they needed to haul their crops to market.
Question

The passage suggests that, in the view of most economic historians, which of following was true of medieval farmers who devoted the larger part of their land to pasturing animals?

A. They were encouraged by rising wool prices to increase the size of their sheep herds.
B. Their farms produced a proportionately smaller amount of cereal grains.
C.The allocation of their lands was typical of that of farmers in the thirteenth century.
D.They had less access to markets than did farmers who produced mostly cereals.
E.They did so in response to diminishing prices for cereal grains.

If you read the question it asked for the opinion of most historians not the opinion of the author or 1 historian but most the highlighted part is the only part cited as the opinion of most historians.
And only B falls part of the opinion of most historians as the passage states that the cereal production and pasturing animals are inversely proportional.

Hope this explains it. This is a very good trick question where the reader must distinguish the different parts of the argument coming from different opinions and not take the information as a whole.
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
Bunuel could you explain in question 1 why D is correct?
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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niayesh99 wrote:
Bunuel could you explain in question 1 why D is correct?

OA to question #1 is updated.
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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Could someone please tell me ideally how many minutes should I take to solve short rc passages?
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Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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JeenaTreesaJames wrote:
Could someone please tell me ideally how many minutes should I take to solve short rc passages?

Three minutes to read a short passage additionally at average one minutes per question.
Re: Economic historians usually assume that the size of animal herds maint [#permalink]
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