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Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the

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Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: CR162
Page: 147

Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.

To evaluate the strength of the economist's argument, it would be the most helpful to know which of the following?

(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits

(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee

(C) Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming

(D) Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers

(E) How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2017, 00:46
hazelnut wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: CR162
Page: 147

Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helpes. By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.

To evaluate the strength of the economist's argument, it would be the most helpful to know which of the following?

(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits
(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee
(C) Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming
(D) Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers
(E) How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers

Note : Official answer will be provided once GMAT Official Guide 2018 Verbal Review released.



(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee
If the non-fair-trade coffee farmers are 0.0001% of the other part (fair-trade coffee farmers)

Hence (B)
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 06:36
Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helpes. By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.

Type- evaluate
Boil it down – Fair trade benefits farmers as they receive higher prices, but it does hurt non-fair trade farmers .
Pre-thinking – Proportion of farmers in developing countries who produce fair- trade coffee to non-fair trade


(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee - Correct
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2017, 22:00
A this otion asks the question which seems genaralised..
B the proportionate value of fair trade and non fairtrade coffee has to be known before arriving at the conclusion of the argument hence CORRECT.
C irrelavant as we are only concerned about faming of coffee and other kinds of farming is redundant here.
D A mere restatement of the question here... (disclaimer: if this question was of the EXCEPT kind.. then this will be the correct answer)
E Once again a generalised question similar to A ...
Hencce the correct answer is B
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2017, 08:00
Can someone please explain why A is wrong ?
As per A, if hoarding is a way, then there would not be much impact on the prices of non fair trade coffee and hence the profits of such coffee farmers could remain stable.
As per B, if only 2 out of 100 farmers grow fair trade coffee, and these 2 farmers maintain the large supply of fair trade coffee. I dont find a co-relation between this fact and the impact on profits of non-fair trade coffee farmers.

Many many thanks!

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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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the same question, why A is wrong.

At first, I chose B and then I was thinking that A seemed reasonable. And I changed my idea... :(
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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katelyntanglu wrote:
the same question, why A is wrong.

At first, I chose B and then I was thinking that A seemed reasonable. And I changed my idea... :(


In my opinion, A is wrong because it does not focus on the central argument of the conclusion:
Conclusion is that: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.
choice A: Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits. this choices focus on the way to decrease the impact of Paying extra for fair-trade coffee. It accept the impacts of Paying extra for fair-trade coffee and does not help us to determine whether Paying extra for fair-trade coffee will lower the profits or not.
Analogy for this:
children who watch so much television reduce extracurricular activities.
evaluate this:
-choice A same as: are there any way to reduce the impact of watching too much television.

Happy to share my idea :-D
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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tushartiwari4u wrote:
Can someone please explain why A is wrong ?
As per A, if hoarding is a way, then there would not be much impact on the prices of non fair trade coffee and hence the profits of such coffee farmers could remain stable.
As per B, if only 2 out of 100 farmers grow fair trade coffee, and these 2 farmers maintain the large supply of fair trade coffee. I dont find a co-relation between this fact and the impact on profits of non-fair trade coffee farmers.

Many many thanks!

Posted from my mobile device


OK. The argument that the economist is making here is that the practice of paying more for fair-trade coffee *could* hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. We want to determine if this is a good argument -- is what the economist is saying true? Could this practice hurt more farmers than it helps? What do we need to know in order to figure out if that's the case?

Well, we need to figure out how many people are actually making fair-trade coffee -- if only 10% of farmers are making fair-trade coffee, then the inevitable price rise that the economist has detailed will, in fact, hurt more farmers (90%) than it helps (10%). But if 85% of farmers are making fair-trade coffee, the practice helps more farmers (85%) than it hurts (15%). Don't get me wrong, it still hurts the 15% of farmers who aren't making fair-trade coffee, but they're a minority.

(A) isn't really relevant to the argument, which is that "the practice of paying more for fair-trade coffee could hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps." (A) is a great question to ask if you already know the argument is strong, but we don't -- we're trying to evaluate the strength of the argument.
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 10:41
hazelnut wrote:
Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. Why would it only hurt farmers in developing nations? Is there an assumption that majority farmers in developing nations grow non-fair trade coffee?
By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.


The economist has basically assumed that most farmers in developing nations grow non-fair trade coffee, and increasing the price for fair trade coffee will hurt their profits. So we should figure out the split between farmers that grow fair-trade Vs. non-fair trade coffee.


To evaluate the strength of the economist's argument, it would be the most helpful to know which of the following?

Quote:
(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits
(C) Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming
(D) Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers

These 3 are irrelevant to the the argument stated by the economist. For e.g. (D) is good as a debate in real life, but in the case of this argument, it makes little sense to evaluate if the consumer should pay extra or not, and it certainly doesn't tie in with the economist's assumption.
All 3 of them are OUT.


Quote:
(E) How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers
In my opinion, this doesn't not help address the economist's argument in any way. This is actually stating we look for an alternative strategy to help fair-trader farmers without hurting non-fair trade farmers. And this seem to be edging a little out of bounds for this argument.


Quote:
(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee

This will exactly help us evaluate the economist's argument. If the majority of farmers produce fair-trade coffee in developing nations, then the price increase should help them.

B is the answer.
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 16:00
Even if the proportion is known, won't the profits of non-fair trade coffee farmers get affected?
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Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 19:34
If you deconstruct the argument into its premises (P), counter premise (CP) and conclusion (C) you get the following
CP: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow.
C (Author's Main Conclusion): But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps.
P: By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy.
P: This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.

To evaluate the strength of the economist's argument, We need to verify the conclusion i.e. whether this practices hurts more farmers in developing countries than it helps

This is indicated in the correct answer B
(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee- If fewer farmers produce fair trade coffee, then it does not hurt "more" farmers than it helps

The other choices do not focus on the "How Many" (More or Less) aspect from this practice
(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits- Even if there was no way to help them, it does not address the conclusion "whether more farmers are affected or not"
(C) Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming- does not focus on the practice in question, while other options might alleviate any negative impact on their income but it does not evaluate the how many are affected by this practice.
(D) Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers- again does not address the conclusion
(E) How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers- focusing on how they could be helped otherwise does not evaluate whether the practice is helpful or not

Hope this helps!
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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Thanks for all of the great replies!

To post additional questions not already addressed in this thread, feel free to use the request verbal experts' reply button.
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2017, 21:16
B is the answer, whether it is smaller portion or larger portion we need to figure, to evaluate.

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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2017, 21:50
abhishekaqsais wrote:
Even if the proportion is known, won't the profits of non-fair trade coffee farmers get affected?


Not necessarily.

In Choice B we get to know the proportion of fair-trade and non fair-trade coffee. Let's take a few cases to understand.

CASE 1:
Fair Trade Coffee: 1%; Non Fair Trade Coffee: 99%
The higher priced Fair Trade Coffee has such low volume that it won't affect prices of Non Fair Trade Coffee. Hence profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers aren't lowered and argument is weakened.

CASE 2:

Fair Trade Coffee: 60%; Non Fair Trade Coffee: 40%
The higher priced Fair Trade Coffee has decent volume and will affect prices of Non Fair Trade Coffee. Hence profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers are lowered and argument is strengthened.
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Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 21:09
hazelnut wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018

Practice Question
Question No.: CR162
Page: 147

Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the Fairtrade logo—is intended to help poor farmers, because they receive a higher price for the fair-trade coffee they grow. But this practice may hurt more farmers in developing nations than it helps. By raising average prices for coffee, it encourages more coffee to be produced than consumers want to buy. This lowers prices for non-fair-trade coffee and thus lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers.

To evaluate the strength of the economist's argument, it would be the most helpful to know which of the following?

(A) Whether there is a way of alleviating the impact of the increased average prices for coffee on non-fair-trade coffee farmers' profits

(B) What proportion of coffee farmers in developing nations produce fair-trade coffee

(C) Whether many coffee farmers in developing nations also derive income from other kinds of farming

(D) Whether consumers should pay extra for fair-trade coffee if doing so lowers profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers

(E) How fair-trade coffee farmers in developing nations could be helped without lowering profits for non-fair-trade coffee farmers



Of all the options, only B says something related to both fair trade and non-fair trade production. Notice the prompt mentions that one group of farmers may be hurt by the action of the other group of farmers. In order to evaluate the strength of this argument, one simply needs the proportion of one group to another.

Options A, D, E are wrong as they offer recommendations/solutions to solve the problem and not evaluations, leading words are whether and should/could. Option C, on the other hand, is simply out of scope.

Answer is obviously B
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Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2017, 07:54
To those who are confused with A: Option A already assumes that the conclusion is valid. Whereas our purpose here is to evaluate the argument.
Re: Economist: Paying extra for fair-trade coffee—coffee labeled with the   [#permalink] 26 Oct 2017, 07:54
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