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Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of

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Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

(A) Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
(B) Country Y's air pollutant emissions woud not fall significantly it they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
(C) Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in an pollutant emissions.
(D) Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiently
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.

Reducing Air Pollution

Step 1: Identify the Question

The word assumption in the question stem indicates that this is an Assumption question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

E: tax pollutants in prop. to damage = MOST cost eff

BUT: Y: oppose taxes + many pollutants unreg.

→ best way in Y = upper limits, NOT tax

On the one hand, the author believes that the most economically efficient way to reduce air pollution is to tax emissions. However, he argues that this won’t be effective in Country Y. In Country Y, it will be more effective to institute fixed upper limits for pollutant emissions. The evidence for this is that Country Y’s policy makers oppose new taxes, and serious pollutants are not currently taxed or regulated.

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Assumption questions, the goal is to identify an assumption that is critical to the logic of the argument. The right answer will be a statement that the author must believe to be true in order to logically draw the conclusion. In this case, the conclusion is that, in Country Y, the best approach to reducing air pollution is instituting fixed upper limits. What else must be true, in order to logically conclude that this is the best approach?

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) This doesn’t have to be true. For instance, policy makers in Country Y could vehemently oppose new taxes on pollutants, but only mildly oppose new income taxes. In this scenario, the conclusion would still be reasonable.

(B) This is a strengthener, since it implies that taxation would be unsuccessful for another reason, beyond the reasoning already provided in the argument. However, an assumption must make a statement that has to be true, not just one that strengthens the argument. This answer choice, logically, could be false even while the argument is still valid. To prove this, try the negation test: Country Y’s emissions would fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage. In this case, the conclusion of the argument could still be true, because fixed upper limits could still be a better method for other reasons.

(C) This answer seems to imply that policy makers in Country Y will be more willing to accept policies that reduce pollutant emissions in general. However, it does not support one method of reduction over another. The conclusion specifically states that one method is better than the other method in Country Y, so this answer choice does not directly affect the conclusion.

(D) If this were true, the conclusion would be less logically sound. If policy makers in Country Y mostly cared about economic efficiency, they would probably prefer taxes over fixed upper limits, since taxes are described as the most economically efficient method.

(E) CORRECT. The author concludes that the best way to reduce pollution in Country Y is to institute fixed upper limits on emissions. In order to accept this conclusion, the author must assume that policy makers in Country Y will not oppose these upper limits—or, at least, that they will not oppose them as strongly as they oppose new taxes.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2015, 22:06
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Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

Ⓐ Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
Ⓑ Country Y's air pollutant emissions would not fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
Ⓒ Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in air pollutant emissions.
Ⓓ Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiency.
Ⓔ Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.


EMPOWERgmat Enhanced Explanation
Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Can’t tax -> Impose limit is best
Missing Information: The proposal is possible
Goal: Find the option that the logic of the argument requires for it to work
Analysis: This argument suddenly announces that because one remedy (increasing taxes) can’t work, that this other option (imposing limits) is the best, but that leaves a pretty big gap open. Additionally, this argument presumes that instituting a fixed upper limit is even capable of reducing emissions. How do we know that this plan could even work? We don't.


The argument already established that new taxes are out, so because this option raises something already established, it’s not assumed. Assumptions are never written. They are unstated, but required for the logic of the argument to work.
This is a 180 option. The argument actually states that the most efficient way to reduce is emissions is by taxing them, and this option seeks to directly counter that established fact.
The argument doesn’t require a STRONG favoring of air pollution limits for it to hold. This option goes too far. Reasonable support could be enough for the argument to hold.
The argument also doesn’t require that the reduction in emissions occurs with maximum economic efficiency. For all we know, a reasonable degree of economic efficiency is plenty.
Yes! The argument absolutely presumes that policy makers would be on board with this upper limit alternative. Isn’t it really odd that the economist magically asserted that because taxes won’t be supported, that this fixed upper limit will? The argument completely presumes that this alternative is possible too.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2015, 06:03
in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes.

Policy makers will be comfortable with setting a upper limit but oppose any new tax. Option E brings out this point.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2015, 14:52
WillGetIt wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are taxed untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore. the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

(A) Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
(B) Country Y's air pollutant emissions world not fall significantly it they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
(C) Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in an pollutant emissions.
(D) Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiently
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.

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Hi Willgetit,

there are some typos in the question stem, could you please correct them. Thanks.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2016, 13:01
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THE CORRECT ANSWER IS E


See this analogy
John is coming to dinner. John hate lettuce that is boiled with peas and carrots. So lets boil lettuce with herbs and mint.
What is the assumption? John will not hate hate lettuce when it will be boiled with herbs and mint.
What is the reality :- John absolutely hate lettuce, boiled, deep fried, raw , spiced or anything. If lettuce is there, john will not eat it.

Similarly in this argument:-
Policy maker oppose New tax in proportion to damage
Policy maker will pass tax with a fixed fine.
Reality :- Policy maker hate any kind of tax, whether in proportion to the damage or whether fixed fine or whether yearly pollution tax. If there is tax , policy maker will oppose it.
What is wrongly assumed in the argument?
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.

THE CORRECT ANSWER IS E


WillGetIt wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

(A) Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
(B) Country Y's air pollutant emissions world not fall significantly it they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
(C) Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in an pollutant emissions.
(D) Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiently
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.

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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 00:43
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WillGetIt wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

(A) Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
(B) Country Y's air pollutant emissions world not fall significantly it they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
(C) Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in an pollutant emissions.
(D) Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiently
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.


OG2017, CR590, P524

Reducing Air Pollution
 
Step 1: Identify the Question

The word assumption in the question stem indicates that this is an Assumption question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

E: tax pollutants in prop. to damage = MOST cost eff
BUT: Y: oppose taxes + many pollutants unreg.
→ best way in Y = upper limits, NOT tax

On the one hand, the author believes that the most economically efficient way to reduce air pollution is to tax emissions. However, he argues that this won’t be effective in Country Y. In Country Y, it will be more effective to institute fixed upper limits for pollutant emissions. The evidence for this is that Country Y’s policy makers oppose new taxes, and serious pollutants are not currently taxed or regulated.

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Assumption questions, the goal is to identify an assumption that is critical to the logic of the argument. The right answer will be a statement that the author must believe to be true in order to logically draw the conclusion. In this case, the conclusion is that, in Country Y, the best approach to reducing air pollution is instituting fixed upper limits. What else must be true, in order to logically conclude that this is the best approach?

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) This doesn’t have to be true. For instance, policy makers in Country Y could vehemently oppose new taxes on pollutants, but only mildly oppose new income taxes. In this scenario, the conclusion would still be reasonable.
(B) This is a strengthener, since it implies that taxation would be unsuccessful for another reason, beyond the reasoning already provided in the argument. However, an assumption must make a statement that has to be true, not just one that strengthens the argument. This answer choice, logically, could be false even while the argument is still valid. To prove this, try the negation test: Country Y’s emissions would fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage. In this case, the conclusion of the argument could still be true, because fixed upper limits could still be a better method for other reasons.
(C) This answer seems to imply that policy makers in Country Y will be more willing to accept policies that reduce pollutant emissions in general. However, it does not support one method of reduction over another. The conclusion specifically states that one method is better than the other method in Country Y, so this answer choice does not directly affect the conclusion.
(D) If this were true, the conclusion would be less logically sound. If policy makers in Country Y mostly cared about economic efficiency, they would probably prefer taxes over fixed upper limits, since taxes are described as the most economically efficient method.
(E) CORRECT. The author concludes that the best way to reduce pollution in Country Y is to institute fixed upper limits on emissions. In order to accept this conclusion, the author must assume that policy makers in Country Y will not oppose these upper limits—or, at least, that they will not oppose them as strongly as they oppose new taxes.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 06:47
EMPOWERgmatMax wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

Ⓐ Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
Ⓑ Country Y's air pollutant emissions would not fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
Ⓒ Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in air pollutant emissions.
Ⓓ Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiency.
Ⓔ Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.


EMPOWERgmat Enhanced Explanation
Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Can’t tax -> Impose limit is best
Missing Information: The proposal is possible
Goal: Find the option that the logic of the argument requires for it to work
Analysis: This argument suddenly announces that because one remedy (increasing taxes) can’t work, that this other option (imposing limits) is the best, but that leaves a pretty big gap open. Additionally, this argument presumes that instituting a fixed upper limit is even capable of reducing emissions. How do we know that this plan could even work? We don't.


The argument already established that new taxes are out, so because this option raises something already established, it’s not assumed. Assumptions are never written. They are unstated, but required for the logic of the argument to work.
This is a 180 option. The argument actually states that the most efficient way to reduce is emissions is by taxing them, and this option seeks to directly counter that established fact.
The argument doesn’t require a STRONG favoring of air pollution limits for it to hold. This option goes too far. Reasonable support could be enough for the argument to hold.
The argument also doesn’t require that the reduction in emissions occurs with maximum economic efficiency. For all we know, a reasonable degree of economic efficiency is plenty.
Yes! The argument absolutely presumes that policy makers would be on board with this upper limit alternative. Isn’t it really odd that the economist magically asserted that because taxes won’t be supported, that this fixed upper limit will? The argument completely presumes that this alternative is possible too.


Hello EmpowerGMAT,

I was between choices C and E, and finally I choose C, I would like you challenge my reasoning. First, I used a common sense fact: to pass a bill or regulation, policy makers need the majority of votes (>50%). What does a strong support mean?, I assumed more than 75%, is there any convention for the word ''strong'' in terms of percentages?

Choice C: Policy makers need the majority of votes, not necessarily a strong support, so this assumption MIGHT AND MIGHT NOT BE TRUE.
Choice E: Policy makers need the majority of votes, If the support in favor of fixed limits is less stronger than the support on new taxes, this less strong support could be up or down the majority of votes but not strong, so this assumption MIGHT AND MIGHT NOT BE TRUE.

If my reasoning is correct, why do you eliminated choice C?.

Beforehand very thank you.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 14:09
ManuelJesus wrote:
EMPOWERgmatMax wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

Ⓐ Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
Ⓑ Country Y's air pollutant emissions would not fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
Ⓒ Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in air pollutant emissions.
Ⓓ Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiency.
Ⓔ Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.


EMPOWERgmat Enhanced Explanation
Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Can’t tax -> Impose limit is best
Missing Information: The proposal is possible
Goal: Find the option that the logic of the argument requires for it to work
Analysis: This argument suddenly announces that because one remedy (increasing taxes) can’t work, that this other option (imposing limits) is the best, but that leaves a pretty big gap open. Additionally, this argument presumes that instituting a fixed upper limit is even capable of reducing emissions. How do we know that this plan could even work? We don't.


The argument already established that new taxes are out, so because this option raises something already established, it’s not assumed. Assumptions are never written. They are unstated, but required for the logic of the argument to work.
This is a 180 option. The argument actually states that the most efficient way to reduce is emissions is by taxing them, and this option seeks to directly counter that established fact.
The argument doesn’t require a STRONG favoring of air pollution limits for it to hold. This option goes too far. Reasonable support could be enough for the argument to hold.
The argument also doesn’t require that the reduction in emissions occurs with maximum economic efficiency. For all we know, a reasonable degree of economic efficiency is plenty.
Yes! The argument absolutely presumes that policy makers would be on board with this upper limit alternative. Isn’t it really odd that the economist magically asserted that because taxes won’t be supported, that this fixed upper limit will? The argument completely presumes that this alternative is possible too.


Hello EmpowerGMAT,

I was between choices C and E, and finally I choose C, I would like you challenge my reasoning. First, I used a common sense fact: to pass a bill or regulation, policy makers need the majority of votes (>50%). What does a strong support mean?, I assumed more than 75%, is there any convention for the word ''strong'' in terms of percentages?

Choice C: Policy makers need the majority of votes, not necessarily a strong support, so this assumption MIGHT AND MIGHT NOT BE TRUE.
Choice E: Policy makers need the majority of votes, If the support in favor of fixed limits is less stronger than the support on new taxes, this less strong support could be up or down the majority of votes but not strong, so this assumption MIGHT AND MIGHT NOT BE TRUE.

If my reasoning is correct, why do you eliminated choice C?.

Beforehand very thank you.


Hi Manuel,

I'll try to explain why E is the correct answer and not C-

ECONOMIST'S CONCLUSION:
In country Y, Putting fixed upper limit is the best way to reduce air pollution.

He/she bases this conclusion on the below PREMISES-
1. In country Y, many serious pollutant are not taxed and are not regulated.
2. Policy makers of country Y strongly oppose new taxes.

When I'm PRE-THINKING, I'm asking myself- how do I connect "putting fixed upper limit as a way to reduce pollution" (conclusion) and "policy makers not wanting to tax emissions" (premise)? What is the gap between the two? So, The policy makers must be okay with fixing the upper limit (as they oppose the taxes).

Answer choice C does not connect the premises and the conclusion. Even if the policy makers favor reductions in emissions, this answer choice does not talk about "fixing upper limit" at all. When I negate C (Policy makers in country Y DO NOT strongly favor reductions in air pollutant emissions), it does not shatter the conclusion.

Answer choice E matches with our pre-thinking. To be dead sure, if you negate E, the conclusions falls apart; hence, E is the correct answer.

I hope this helps.

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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2018, 06:04
Hi GMATNinja

I found this Q to apply correctly beginner's guide mentioned here

I would like to know if conclusion would have been:
the ONLY way to achieve a reduction on air pollutant emissions is to introduce fixed upper limits on them
Even then (B) would be incorrect since it is creating a doubt on premise (statement 1).
Let me know your thoughts.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2018, 07:52
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adkikani - do you intend to change the conclusion keeping the entire argument similar? In that case, B would still be irrelevant. But as a thumb rule, I would actively avoid playing What-If games on the GMAT Verbal.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2018, 01:14
EMPOWERgmatVerbal wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore, the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

Ⓐ Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
Ⓑ Country Y's air pollutant emissions would not fall significantly if they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
Ⓒ Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in air pollutant emissions.
Ⓓ Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiency.
Ⓔ Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.


EMPOWERgmat Enhanced Explanation
Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Can’t tax -> Impose limit is best
Missing Information: The proposal is possible
Goal: Find the option that the logic of the argument requires for it to work
Analysis: This argument suddenly announces that because one remedy (increasing taxes) can’t work, that this other option (imposing limits) is the best, but that leaves a pretty big gap open. Additionally, this argument presumes that instituting a fixed upper limit is even capable of reducing emissions. How do we know that this plan could even work? We don't.


The argument already established that new taxes are out, so because this option raises something already established, it’s not assumed. Assumptions are never written. They are unstated, but required for the logic of the argument to work.
This is a 180 option. The argument actually states that the most efficient way to reduce is emissions is by taxing them, and this option seeks to directly counter that established fact.
The argument doesn’t require a STRONG favoring of air pollution limits for it to hold. This option goes too far. Reasonable support could be enough for the argument to hold.
The argument also doesn’t require that the reduction in emissions occurs with maximum economic efficiency. For all we know, a reasonable degree of economic efficiency is plenty.
Yes! The argument absolutely presumes that policy makers would be on board with this upper limit alternative. Isn’t it really odd that the economist magically asserted that because taxes won’t be supported, that this fixed upper limit will? The argument completely presumes that this alternative is possible too.



If this was a strengthening question, I think would go with C option.
I think it is similar to that 'The Eurasian ruffe..... ' strengthening question in which the correct option was C. C said that until People are interested in preserving the lake, it cannot be preserved.
Same logic applies here that until Policy makers strongly favours reductions, the air pollution cannot be reduced.


Could you please let me know if my reasoning is correct.
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Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2018, 02:11
BrainLab wrote:
WillGetIt wrote:
Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of air pollutants is to tax them in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause. But in Country Y, many serious pollutants are taxed untaxed and unregulated, and policy makers strongly oppose new taxes. Therefore. the best way to achieve a reduction in air pollutant emissions in Country Y would be to institute fixed upper limits on them.

Which of the following is an assumption of the economist's argument?

(A) Policy makers in Country Y oppose all new taxes equally strongly, regardless of any benefits they may provide.
(B) Country Y's air pollutant emissions world not fall significantly it they were taxed in proportion to the damage they are likely to cause.
(C) Policy makers in Country Y strongly favor reductions in an pollutant emissions.
(D) Country Y's policy makers believe that air pollutant emissions should be reduced with maximum economic efficiently
(E) Policy makers in Country Y do not oppose setting fixed upper limits on air pollutant emissions as strongly as they oppose new taxes.

Please hit "+1 kudos" to appreciate


Hi Willgetit,

there are some typos in the question stem, could you please correct them. Thanks.


There are also a few typos in the answer choices...
Re: Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of &nbs [#permalink] 19 Jun 2018, 02:11
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Economist: The most economically efficient way to reduce emissions of

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