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In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp

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In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Aug 2019, 21:25
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In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were employed primarily in low-paying, low-skill jobs. To explain this segregation of labor by gender, economists have relied on the useful theory of human capital. According to this theory, investment in human capital—the acquisition of difficult job-related skills—generally benefits individuals by making them eligible to engage in well-paid occupations. Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work. In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home.

There were, however, differences in pay scales that cannot be explained by the human capital theory. For example, male construction workers were paid significantly higher wages than female taffeta weavers. The wage difference between these two low-skill occupations stems from the segregation of labor by gender: because a limited number of occupations were open to women, there was a large supply of workers in their fields, and this "overcrowding" resulted in women receiving lower wages and men receiving higher wages.


1. The passage suggests that combing and carding differ from weaving in that combing and carding were

(A) low-skill jobs performed primarily by women employees
(B) low-skill jobs that were not performed in the home
(C) low-skill jobs performed by both male and female employees
(D) high-skill jobs performed outside the home
(E) high-skill jobs performed by both male and female employees



2. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the explanation provided by the human capital theory for women's concentration in certain occupations in seventeenth-century Florence?

(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor.
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons.
(C) Women's participation in the Florentine paid labor force grew steadily throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
(D) The vast majority of female weavers in the Florentine wool industry had children.
(E) Few women worked as weavers in the Florentine silk industry, which was devoted to making cloths that required a high degree of skill to produce.



3. The author of the passage would be most likely to describe the explanation provided by the human capital theory for the high concentration of women in certain occupations in the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry as

(A) well founded though incomplete
(B) difficult to articulate
(C) plausible but poorly substantiated
(D) seriously flawed
(E) contrary to recent research


Originally posted by betterscore on 08 Aug 2012, 15:28.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 07 Aug 2019, 21:25, edited 3 times in total.
Updated complete topic (95).
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New post 12 Sep 2013, 19:32
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1. The relevant part is:

"In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home."

The above clearly suggests that combing and carding are low skill jobs which could not be carried out in the home.

So choice B is correct

2. The human capital theory says :

"because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home."

If choice A were true, it would weaken the human capital theory.

3. The relevant parts are:

"To explain this segregation of labor by gender, economists have relied on the useful theory of human capital."

"There were, however, differences in pay scales that cannot be explained by the human capital theory."

Choice A best describes the author's opinion about the human capital theory.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2012, 15:20
In 7:31 min. My picks are BAA. Got all correct. the 3rd Qs took more than 2 mins.
1st Q: Line 17-20. Pretty clear explanation in passage.
2nd Q: A is correct. All other out of scope or incorrect.
3rd Q: Eliminated BDE. I was stuck between A & C.
Hope somebody can explain the 3rd Qs properly.
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New post 06 Oct 2013, 21:12
For 43.. I am confused between A and B...
Since the passage mentions two factor for high concentration of women in particular jobs-
1) limited opportunities due to their role as a child bearer
2) they want work from home

Now, does not B provide an alternate explanation why there can be limited opportunities for women to acquire high skills for high pay jobs (than presented in the message).. After all in option A, we are just providing an alternate explanation that it is their unwillingness to work outside than motivation to bear child why they prefer low paid jobs..

Where am I wrong..?? Please help..
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New post 07 Nov 2013, 06:08
@ Zerosleep
Though late but i will try to explain difference between A & B . A suggests that women unlikely to work even though they have limited opportunity. This weakens the stated argument in the passage where it is mentioned they were willing to work even from home also.

Why B is wrong: This is because its our probable thinking that parents were not interested to teach the daughters.If we go with this thinking then also it says women(daughters) unlikely to work.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2014, 07:02
1
B A A - 6min 34sec - All correct
42)
Quote:
In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home.

Given in the passage these jobs could not be done at home. Hence, B

43)
(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor. --contradicts the second point of the theory
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons. --irrelevant
(C) Women's participation in the Florentine paid labor force grew steadily throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. --the theory says that participation was high but more than required
(D) The vast majority of female weavers in the Florentine wool industry had children. --strengthens
(E) Few women worked as weavers in the Florentine silk industry, which was devoted to making cloths that required a high degree of skill to
produce.
--very specific. We're looking at the bigger picture

Hence A

44) A
Theory explains why women were not able to get high skilled jobs but does not explain the difference in wagres
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Aug 2017, 03:04
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Took 4 mins 30 seconds, including 2 mins to read

42. The passage suggests that combing and carding differ from weaving in that combing and carding were
(B) low-skill jobs that were not performed in the home - In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home.

43. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the explanation provided by the human capital theory for women's concentration in certain occupations in seventeenth-century Florence?
(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor.
- Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work.

44. The author of the passage would be most likely to describe the explanation provided by the human capital theory for the high concentration of women in certain occupations in the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry as
(A) well founded though incomplete - There were, however, differences in pay scales that cannot be explained by the human capital theory.
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New post 17 Jan 2018, 08:50
question 3 is hard. in fact, I do not see choice A is good but just a best answer.
passage dose not say any thing about the human theory regarding concentration of job. but passage say generally about the human theory. we can not infer A is correct.

but because other choices are wrong clearly, i choose choice A.

"there is some cases which can not be explained by theory", the first sentence of paragraph 2, can be used to infer choice A
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New post 20 Jan 2018, 02:55
GMATNinjaTwo GMATNinja


Can you please explain Q2.

As per me, according to the human capital theory the high concentration of women in low skilled jobs was because they had to bear children and because they had to stay at home, they could only take occupations which could be carried from home.

I was not able to perform POE well here on lines of thinking about alternate cause.
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New post 23 Jan 2018, 08:31
Got all 3 correct in just under 4.5 minutes.
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New post 23 Jan 2018, 10:11
4:45 mins and all 3 correct. Is this a good time for a passage of this kind?
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New post 24 Jan 2018, 20:20
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adkikani wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo GMATNinja


Can you please explain Q2.

As per me, according to the human capital theory the high concentration of women in low skilled jobs was because they had to bear children and because they had to stay at home, they could only take occupations which could be carried from home.

I was not able to perform POE well here on lines of thinking about alternate cause.

In order to use POE, first make sure you are clear about the explanation provided by the human capital theory (HCT). This explanation has two parts:

  • "Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work." - Women are the ones who actually had to bear the children (i.e. to be pregnant and give birth), and this would obviously present some obstacles to working and acquiring training.
  • "Because of their primary responsibility in child rearing, women took occupations that could be carried out in the home." - Women tended to take jobs that could be done at home so that they could be home to raise (i.e. rear) the children.

So we need an answer choice that WEAKENS either part. Choices B-E have no impact on these two aspects of the HCT explanation.

As you mentioned, according to HCT, the women tended to take jobs that could be carried out at home. Why? Because their responsibility in child rearing (a domestic task) required them to be at home. But what if there were jobs that allowed women to tend to their domestic responsibilities (i.e. child rearing) outside of their working hours? For example, a job with flexible hours might allow a woman to take care of her domestic responsibilities for a couple hours, then work for a couple hours, then go home to tend to her domestic responsibilities, and then go back to work for a few more hours. In that case, the domestic responsibilities would not be an obstacle.

Choice (A) says that women were STILL unlikely to take jobs even if the jobs had such flexibility. If the jobs were flexible enough to allow the women to take care of their domestic responsibilities, then why didn't the women take those jobs? There must be some other explanation, so the explanation provided by HCT is insufficient.

I hope that helps!
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New post 21 Jun 2018, 04:14
kanigmat011 wrote:
Can somebody explain logic behind Q44
I feel C is better than A


1st Passage, line 4 says..Theory is USEFUL---- Positive Word
2nd Passage first line says ....Differences in pay scales cannot be explained by the human capital theory--- So theory is incomplete

Answer is A, Well founded though incomplete.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 18:35
GMATNinja wrote:
adkikani wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo GMATNinja


Can you please explain Q2.

As per me, according to the human capital theory the high concentration of women in low skilled jobs was because they had to bear children and because they had to stay at home, they could only take occupations which could be carried from home.

I was not able to perform POE well here on lines of thinking about alternate cause.

In order to use POE, first make sure you are clear about the explanation provided by the human capital theory (HCT). This explanation has two parts:

  • "Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work." - Women are the ones who actually had to bear the children (i.e. to be pregnant and give birth), and this would obviously present some obstacles to working and acquiring training.
  • "Because of their primary responsibility in child rearing, women took occupations that could be carried out in the home." - Women tended to take jobs that could be done at home so that they could be home to raise (i.e. rear) the children.

So we need an answer choice that WEAKENS either part. Choices B-E have no impact on these two aspects of the HCT explanation.

As you mentioned, according to HCT, the women tended to take jobs that could be carried out at home. Why? Because their responsibility in child rearing (a domestic task) required them to be at home. But what if there were jobs that allowed women to tend to their domestic responsibilities (i.e. child rearing) outside of their working hours? For example, a job with flexible hours might allow a woman to take care of her domestic responsibilities for a couple hours, then work for a couple hours, then go home to tend to her domestic responsibilities, and then go back to work for a few more hours. In that case, the domestic responsibilities would not be an obstacle.

Choice (A) says that women were STILL unlikely to take jobs even if the jobs had such flexibility. If the jobs were flexible enough to allow the women to take care of their domestic responsibilities, then why didn't the women take those jobs? There must be some other explanation, so the explanation provided by HCT is insufficient.

I hope that helps!



Hi GMATNinja,

I was wondering could you please explain why option B is incorrect? I understand the reasoning behind option A but I am not still not able to let go of option B. In the paragraph it says, "Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work.". We need a statement that will tell us that it wasn't because of women's role as child bearers but instead something else which explains why they weren't able to work. My reasoning behind option B was that if parents were teaching the skills to their sons only and not to their daughters, this helps weaken the conclusion that the low opportunities resulted from their role as child bearers. Instead it was because of the parents who didn't teach their daughters the necessary skills. Could you please tell me where I went wrong in my reasoning? Would greatly appreciate it!
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New post 24 Jun 2018, 08:19
Hello singhgaurav957

Let me help you.
To improve the RC skills you need following things-
1. Read a lot. And try to cover a variety of topics like science, economics, sociology, anthropology etc.
2. Try to understand what the author is trying to say. Best way to achieve this is by thinking that you need to explain the same to one of your colleagues. So read carefully.
3. Try to know the tone of the author. Positive, Critical, Skeptical or neutral. These are only some examples.
4. Practice a lot. Do it every day and try to learn maximum from each error.
5. The most important thing - Read very slowly. Don't think about your timing. Once you master these techniques, you will need very less time to answer.

Hope it helps.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 05:09
Quote:
The author of the passage would be most likely to describe the explanation provided by the human capital theory for the high concentration of women in certain occupations in the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry as

(A) well founded though incomplete
(B) difficult to articulate
(C) plausible but poorly substantiated
(D) seriously flawed
(E) contrary to recent research



I have eliminated A because the question asks about" the explanation provided by the human capital theory for high concentration of women in certain occupations" .
At the end of the first para it is specified clearly .
So how could it be incomplete?
the next para talks about the differences in the pay scale that is incomplete and is not related to "theory for high concentration of women in certain occupations" .

My mind is clumsy. please help!!
and one more question.
Is this really a sub 600 level paragraph?
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New post 27 Jun 2018, 11:45
csaluja wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
adkikani wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo GMATNinja

Can you please explain Q2.

As per me, according to the human capital theory the high concentration of women in low skilled jobs was because they had to bear children and because they had to stay at home, they could only take occupations which could be carried from home.

I was not able to perform POE well here on lines of thinking about alternate cause.

In order to use POE, first make sure you are clear about the explanation provided by the human capital theory (HCT). This explanation has two parts:

  • "Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work." - Women are the ones who actually had to bear the children (i.e. to be pregnant and give birth), and this would obviously present some obstacles to working and acquiring training.
  • "Because of their primary responsibility in child rearing, women took occupations that could be carried out in the home." - Women tended to take jobs that could be done at home so that they could be home to raise (i.e. rear) the children.

So we need an answer choice that WEAKENS either part. Choices B-E have no impact on these two aspects of the HCT explanation.

As you mentioned, according to HCT, the women tended to take jobs that could be carried out at home. Why? Because their responsibility in child rearing (a domestic task) required them to be at home. But what if there were jobs that allowed women to tend to their domestic responsibilities (i.e. child rearing) outside of their working hours? For example, a job with flexible hours might allow a woman to take care of her domestic responsibilities for a couple hours, then work for a couple hours, then go home to tend to her domestic responsibilities, and then go back to work for a few more hours. In that case, the domestic responsibilities would not be an obstacle.

Choice (A) says that women were STILL unlikely to take jobs even if the jobs had such flexibility. If the jobs were flexible enough to allow the women to take care of their domestic responsibilities, then why didn't the women take those jobs? There must be some other explanation, so the explanation provided by HCT is insufficient.

I hope that helps!



Hi GMATNinja,

I was wondering could you please explain why option B is incorrect? I understand the reasoning behind option A but I am not still not able to let go of option B. In the paragraph it says, "Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work.". We need a statement that will tell us that it wasn't because of women's role as child bearers but instead something else which explains why they weren't able to work. My reasoning behind option B was that if parents were teaching the skills to their sons only and not to their daughters, this helps weaken the conclusion that the low opportunities resulted from their role as child bearers. Instead it was because of the parents who didn't teach their daughters the necessary skills. Could you please tell me where I went wrong in my reasoning? Would greatly appreciate it!


Note that the author's logic is very focused: Women's role as child bearers results in interruptions in their participation in the job market and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work.

Because this explanation is concerned with the loss of opportunity to acquire training in the job market for child-bearing women, we want the answer choice that most directly weakens this logic. Choice (A) does exactly that by providing evidence that women could actually take advantage of flexible hours to participate in the job market.

Quote:
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons.

Choice (B) does much less to challenge the author's statements. Even if true, this information only tells us about learning opportunities for boys and girls under the supervision of their parents. Because (B) doesn't tell us anything about occupational skills that grown women could learn in the job market, it doesn't do much to weaken the specific claim being made by the author.

(A) remains the best choice.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2018, 02:38
1. The passage suggests that combing and carding differ from weaving in that combing and carding were
Relevant text: "HC explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home"

(A) low-skill jobs performed primarily by women employees (those jobs are actually similar in this regard
(B) low-skill jobs that were not performed in the home correct
(C) low-skill jobs performed by both male and female employees the relevant text discusses females
(D) high-skill jobs performed outside the home tries to trap you by using words from the text "a high (concentration)"
(E) high-skill jobs performed by both male and female employees incorrect as this follows from the above comments

2. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the explanation provided by the human capital theory for women's concentration in certain occupations in seventeenth-century Florence?
Relevant text: "In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home". So this is clear that the main factor was claimed to be child rearing that required women to stay at home

(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor. correct since answer this suggests that women didn't choose even those occupation that offered flexible hours, showing that perhaps child rearing wasn't the key factor afterall
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons. this seems a bit broad because it mentions "parents", and it gives an irrelevant comparison of children who were thought skills
(C) Women's participation in the Florentine paid labor force grew steadily throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. this still doesn't give an alternative reason that would explain why women tended to concentrate in one occupation than in some others
(D) The vast majority of female weavers in the Florentine wool industry had children. well if the majority had, then I think it's more likely that the theory is correct
(E) Few women worked as weavers in the Florentine silk industry, which was devoted to making cloths that required a high degree of skill to
produce. this gives information about weaving a relative proportion of women who worked there, but it doesn't relate this info to the other occupations, and so it cannot explain any differently the HC theory

3. The author of the passage would be most likely to describe the explanation provided by the human capital theory for the high concentration of women in certain occupations in the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry as
Relevant text: "In addition, the human capital theory explains why there was a high concentration of women workers in certain low-skill jobs, such as weaving, but not in others, such as combing or carding, by positing that because of their primary responsibility in child rearing women took occupations that could be carried out in the home". So this is clear that the main factor was claimed to be child rearing that required women to stay at home

(A) well founded though incomplete correct because the author does not show any signs of disagreement. The words "but not in others" express the author's concern that this may be a gap that the HC leaves out. Note that the flaw is mentioned in relation to pay.
(B) difficult to articulate difficulty is not discussed in this context
(C) plausible but poorly substantiated this is a trap because it redirects your thinking about the second paragraph
(D) seriously flawed "seriously" is already alarming
(E) contrary to recent research and what research would that be

I did poorly in on this passage. But I hope my debrief will be helpfull
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New post 06 Feb 2019, 09:14
2. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the explanation provided by the human capital theory for women's concentration in certain occupations in seventeenth-century Florence?

(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor.
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons.
(C) Women's participation in the Florentine paid labor force grew steadily throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
(D) The vast majority of female weavers in the Florentine wool industry had children.
(E) Few women worked as weavers in the Florentine silk industry, which was devoted to making cloths that required a high degree of skill to produce.


I have read the posts and still couldn't figure out as to why choice A is correct.
A makes sense to me if domestic tasks include child rearing. But it does not then it does not weaken the argument.

Also, I thought B was correct since it presented another reason that the one stated by the theory. And if we are giving an alternate explanation are we not weakening the explaination provided by the human capital theory?

Please let me know where my understanding is incorrect. Thanks in advance.
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2019, 06:26
2. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the explanation provided by the human capital theory for women's concentration in certain occupations in seventeenth-century Florence?

(A) Women were unlikely to work outside the home even in occupations whose hours were flexible enough to allow women to accommodate domestic tasks as well as paid labor.
(B) Parents were less likely to teach occupational skills to their daughters than they were to their sons.
(C) Women's participation in the Florentine paid labor force grew steadily throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
(D) The vast majority of female weavers in the Florentine wool industry had children.
(E) Few women worked as weavers in the Florentine silk industry, which was devoted to making cloths that required a high degree of skill to produce.

Answer A
Portion from the passage : Women's role as child bearers, however, results in interruptions in their participation in the job market (as compared with men's) and thus reduces their opportunities to acquire training for highly skilled work
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Re: In the seventeenth-century Florentine textile industry, women were emp   [#permalink] 22 Oct 2019, 06:26
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