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# The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th

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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
PiyushK wrote:
NEW PROJECT!: Back to basic => Give your explanation- Get Kudos Point for best explanation

Passage-28 GMATPrep RCs-Collection(Main article)
The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century that small firms do not perform an important role in Western economies. Official policies in many countries have favored large units of production because there were strong reasons to believe that large firms were superior to small firms in virtually every aspect of economic performance--productivity, technological progress, and job security and compensation. However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts. Perhaps the best example of this trend was in the steel industry, where new firms entered the market in the form of "mini-mills," and small-firm employment expanded, while many large companies shut down plants and reduced employment. Although no systematic evidence exists to determine unequivocally whether smaller units of production are as efficient as large firms or are, in fact, more efficient, some researchers have concluded that the accumulated evidence to date indicates that small firms are at least not burdened with an inherent size disadvantage.

Thus, an alternative view has emerged in the economics literature, arguing that small firms make several important contributions to industrial markets. First, small firms are often the source of the kind of innovative activity that leads to technological change. Small firms generate market turbulence that creates additional dimensions of competition, and they also promote international competition through newly created niches. Finally, small firms in recent years have generated the preponderant share of new jobs.

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations. An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions.
1. The passage is primarily concerned with
A dismissing a challenge to a traditional viewpoint
B suggesting a new solution to a long-standing problem
C resolving a conflict between two competing viewpoints
D discussing the emergence of an alternative viewpoint
E defending an alternative viewpoint against possible counter evidence

2. The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?
A. Anecdotal evidence does not support the theory that small firms' role is significant.
B. Degrees of market turbulence are the primary indicator of small firms' role.
C. An examination of new niches created by small firms has provided important data for the analysis of such firms' role.
D. Case studies have provided reliable evidence to answer major questions concerning small firms' role.
E. A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role.

3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph of the passage?
A. A viewpoint is introduced, counter evidence is presented, and a new perspective is suggested.
B. Opposing viewpoints are discussed, and evidence is provided that refutes both of those viewpoints.
C. A hypothesis is described, supported with specific evidence, and then reaffirmed.
D. An alternative viewpoint is presented, criticized, and dismissed in light of new evidence.
E. Opposing viewpoints are presented, discussed, and then found to be more similar than previously supposed.

4. According to the passage, an important contribution of small firms to industrial markets is that small firms
A. operate more efficiently than large firms
B. offer high job security and compensation
C. cause international competition to decrease
D. help prevent market turbulence from affecting competition
E. frequently undertake activities that result in technological change

Piyush,

first of all My Sincere thanks to you for putting up these passages on gmatclub .
Could you please tell me why A is wrong for this question ?
2. The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?
A. Anecdotal evidence does not support the theory that small firms' role is significant.
B. Degrees of market turbulence are the primary indicator of small firms' role.
C. An examination of new niches created by small firms has provided important data for the analysis of such firms' role.
D. Case studies have provided reliable evidence to answer major questions concerning small firms' role.
E. A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role.

thanks
Lucky
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
1
Kudos
Hello Lucky2783 ,

Question 2: The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?
Look at the last passage ,which talks about how empirical knowledge about small firms has been generated .

the conclusion of the third paragraph :
"An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions."

So having a precise definition of small firm will help in identifying the role played by small firms .
E answers this and hence is the right choice.

A talks about the problem whereas E talks about the solution for the problem.

Regards,
Manish Khare

Press Kudos if you like this post.
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
Can someone please explain why A is wrong for the first question? I chose A because of the following reason.

1. The first paragraph talks about the traditional view - large firm performs a more important role. Then a new viewpoint is brought up.
2. The second paragraph talks about some of the contributions small firms make.
3. The third paragraph talks about the downside of the empirical study and a major problem of in the anecdotal studies.

What it seems to me is that the 3rd paragraph dismisses the new viewpoint brought up in the 1st paragraph. Where did my reasoning go wrong?

Thanks,
Frank
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
1
Kudos
Hi Experts

How to interpret Option E of Question 1
" defending an alternative viewpoint against possible counter evidence"

Confused here , what is alternate view point refers and what counter evidence?
If alternate view point is about small industries being better than large than passage correctly defends it against counter view(large industries being better)

What am I missing here
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
JarvisR wrote:
Time taken 10 mins
1. The passage is primarily concerned with
D discussing the emergence of an alternative viewpoint
"Author is neutral in the argument.First a traditional view point is presented and then and then counterview evidences are presented.The discussion is continued in the second para by mentioning the pros of small firms.In last para, the author mentions why the the new evidences are inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms."
So overal Para is discussing the counter evidences.

2. The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?
E. A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role.
"An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions."

3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph of the passage?
A. A viewpoint is introduced, counter evidence is presented, and a new perspective is suggested.
"The view has prevailed for the better....
blah blah
However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts.
blah blah
Although no systematic evidence exists to determine unequivocally whether smaller units of production are as efficient as large firms or are, in fact, more efficient, some researchers have concluded that the accumulated evidence to date indicates that small firms are at least not burdened with an inherent size disadvantage.
"

4. According to the passage, an important contribution of small firms to industrial markets is that small firms
E. frequently undertake activities that result in technological change
"small firms are often the source of the kind of innovative activity that leads to technological change"

Hi,

Thanks for your explanation however I have certain doubts on how 1A and 3B are incorrect choice for 1st and 3rd question . As per my reasoning author raised a viewpoint then raised opposite view point and den in 2nd para pros of small firm and 3rd para how we cannot conclude anything and evidence is inadequate , so cant see where the author raised an alternative viewpoint or suggested a new perspective as mentioned in 1 and 3 OA choices .

Regards
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
1
Kudos
Took 7 mins and 50 seconds , including 2 mins 10 seconds to read
-The author does not state an opinion
- The author talks about a view point , provides a new perspective and then discusses the new perspective

1.
Option D – Correct – The author is discussing a new view point/alternative

2.
"An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions."
The above excerpt suggests that the difficulty with the empirical study is that the definition of a ―small firm‖ has not been established. Hence option (E).

3.
"The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century that small firms do not perform an important role in Western economies." - View point

"However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts. Perhaps the best example of this trend was in the steel industry, where new firms entered the market in the form of "mini-mills," and small-firm employment expanded, while many large companies shut down plants and reduced employment." - Counter Evidence

"some researchers have concluded that the accumulated evidence to date indicates that small firms are at least not burdened with an inherent size disadvantage."- New perspective

4.
"First, small firms are often the source of the kind of innovative activity that leads to technological change."
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
Nightmare007 wrote:
4 min 23 seconds All correct
Wow.
New approach created.
.
which works wonders for me.

Hi Nightmare007,

Could you please throw some light on the "new approach" which worked for you?

Although I took just 7 mins on the passage and got all the answers right, I have noticed this happens only if I can relate to the passage. On the contrary, I screw up some medium difficulty passages with a low accuracy , if I cannot relate to the topics.
So just trying to discover various approaches by which I can consistently do well, regardless of the topic of the passage.

Thanks !
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
2. The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?

A. Anecdotal evidence does not support the theory that small firms' role is significant.
B. Degrees of market turbulence are the primary indicator of small firms' role.
C. An examination of new niches created by small firms has provided important data for the analysis of such firms' role.
D. Case studies have provided reliable evidence to answer major questions concerning small firms' role.
E. A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role.

This question was tricky for me .

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations. An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions.

Only A and E are worth comparing
But from the excerpt we can not deduce A as it does not give any evidence that small firms' role is significant or not significant all it says says that any conclusion can not be drawn from the said evidence .
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
PraktanP wrote:
can anybody explain what is wrong with option A in Q2?

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations.
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
GMATNinja chetan2u TommyWallach egmat DmitryFarber mikemcgarry
please explain q1. The primary purpose has to be the summary of summaries of the paras, ie. we have to consider all the viewpoints (+-) and then summarise it in 1 line. I was stuck between options A and D. Though I answered D out of guess between the two I want to know where my though process lacks. Option A is more well defined and takes all the viewpoints into account and then summarises it and option D is more like a title of the passage. Para structure is - 1. belief...counter evidence.. 2. support to counter evidence. 3.refute to the study suggesting study is not relevant. Then how is it not A?

Anyone with an explanation is welcome.
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
T700ISB wrote:
Nightmare007 wrote:
4 min 23 seconds All correct
Wow.
New approach created.
.
which works wonders for me.

Hi Nightmare007,

Could you please throw some light on the "new approach" which worked for you?

Although I took just 7 mins on the passage and got all the answers right, I have noticed this happens only if I can relate to the passage. On the contrary, I screw up some medium difficulty passages with a low accuracy , if I cannot relate to the topics.
So just trying to discover various approaches by which I can consistently do well, regardless of the topic of the passage.

Thanks !

The very trick is GMAT want you to read long passages (especially long passages) at they should be read . The effective reading would be like this:

The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century that
small firms do not perform an important role in Western economies.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in
some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts.
-------------------------------------------------

Thus, an alternative view has emerged in the economics literature,
arguing that small firms make several important contributions to industrial
markets.-----------------------------------------------------------------

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small
firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies,
concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations.

Now Questions :
Q1. Main point: can be easily understood by above reading comfortably.
Q2. Empirical study : by last paragraph one can easily locate where the particular detail lies.
Q3. Point of first para : a general wisdom then evidence that contradicts it .
Q4. Contribution to industrial market: by second paragraph one can easily locate where the particular detail lies

So what we get here 2 idea questions ,which can be answered without going to passage , and 2 detail questions , of which we know the exact location.
Time taken : 3 min. approx
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The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
Annotating the Passage

Reading the RC Passage is an Art,Knowing what to read and what not to read will make the difference. Lets try to first Annotate the Passage then hit the Questions ,

P1:

The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century that small firms do not perform an important role in Western economies. Official policies in many countries have favored large units of production because there were strong reasons to believe that large firms were superior to small firms in virtually every aspect of economic performance—productivity, technological progress, and job security and compensation. However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts. Perhaps the best example of this trend was in the steel industry, where new firms entered the market in the form of "mini-mills," and small-firm employment expanded, while many large companies shut down plants and reduced employment. Although no systematic evidence exists to determine unequivocally whether smaller units of production are as efficient as large firms or are, in fact, more efficient, some researchers have concluded that the accumulated evidence to date indicates that small firms are at least not burdened with an inherent size disadvantage.

P2:

Thus, an alternative view has emerged in the economics literature, arguing that small firms make several important contributions to industrial markets.First, small firms are often the source of the kind of innovative activity that leads to technological change. Small firms generate market turbulence that creates additional dimensions of competition, and they also promote international competition through newly created niches. Finally, small firms in recent years have generated the preponderant share of new jobs.

P3:

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations. An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions

Main Idea: Traditional View Point is introduced then Alternative view point introduced and Finally Author is not quite convincing with the definition of the Small Industry

Quote:
1. The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) dismissing a challenge to a traditional viewpoint
(B) suggesting a new solution to a long-standing problem
(C) resolving a conflict between two competing viewpoints
(D) discussing the emergence of an alternative viewpoint
(E) defending an alternative viewpoint against possible counter evidence

C resonates with the Main Idea, Rests are crap

Quote:
2. The passage suggests which of the following about the empirical study of small firms' role?

(A) Anecdotal evidence does not support the theory that small firms' role is significant.
(B) Degrees of market turbulence are the primary indicator of small firms' role.
(C) An examination of new niches created by small firms has provided important data for the analysis of such firms' role.
(D) Case studies have provided reliable evidence to answer major questions concerning small firms' role.
(E) A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role.

In P3 Empirical study has been described A,B,C,D are blatantly wrong as options can not be inferred from the passage

An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones. While a "small firm" is often defined as an enterprise with fewer than 500 employees, research studies of small firms use a wide variety of definitions

Option E is correct

Quote:
3. Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph of the passage?

(A) A viewpoint is introduced, counter evidence is presented, and a new perspective is suggested.
(B) Opposing viewpoints are discussed, and evidence is provided that refutes both of those viewpoints.
(C) A hypothesis is described, supported with specific evidence, and then reaffirmed.
(D) An alternative viewpoint is presented, criticized, and dismissed in light of new evidence.
(E) Opposing viewpoints are presented, discussed, and then found to be more similar than previously supposed.

In P1 Traditional view point is introduced then from 1970 onward Small farm has started to outweigh the Large Firm and a new Perspective came into picture that Small firms are not in disadvantage because of their Size .

Option A clearly says that

Quote:
4. According to the passage, an important contribution of small firms to industrial markets is that small firms

(A) operate more efficiently than large firms
(B) offer high job security and compensation
(C) cause international competition to decrease
(D) help prevent market turbulence from affecting competition
(E) frequently undertake activities that result in technological change

In P2 Contribution of Small Farm to Industrial Market has been described, A,B,C,D are blatantly wrong as Options are 180 degree apart from what has been described

First, small firms are often the source of the kind of innovative activity that leads to technological change.

Option E
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The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
Dear Experts,
Kindly help with Q-2.
There is a confusion between Option A & E, as Both are mentioned in the passage.

Supporting Option A: However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations.

Supporting Option E: An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones.
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
cool16 wrote:
T700ISB wrote:
Nightmare007 wrote:
4 min 23 seconds All correct
Wow.
New approach created.
.
which works wonders for me.

Hi Nightmare007,

Could you please throw some light on the "new approach" which worked for you?

Although I took just 7 mins on the passage and got all the answers right, I have noticed this happens only if I can relate to the passage. On the contrary, I screw up some medium difficulty passages with a low accuracy , if I cannot relate to the topics.
So just trying to discover various approaches by which I can consistently do well, regardless of the topic of the passage.

Thanks !

The very trick is GMAT want you to read long passages (especially long passages) at they should be read . The effective reading would be like this:

The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century that
small firms do not perform an important role in Western economies.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
However, in the 1970s, evidence began to suggest that small firms in
some countries were outperforming their larger counterparts.
-------------------------------------------------

Thus, an alternative view has emerged in the economics literature,
arguing that small firms make several important contributions to industrial
markets.-----------------------------------------------------------------

However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small
firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies,
concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations.

Now Questions :
Q1. Main point: can be easily understood by above reading comfortably.
Q2. Empirical study : by last paragraph one can easily locate where the particular detail lies.
Q3. Point of first para : a general wisdom then evidence that contradicts it .
Q4. Contribution to industrial market: by second paragraph one can easily locate where the particular detail lies

So what we get here 2 idea questions ,which can be answered without going to passage , and 2 detail questions , of which we know the exact location.
Time taken : 3 min. approx

Has this approach worked for you in all kind of passages? Passages of higher difficulty, different subjects, and different lengths?
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Re: The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
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rocky620 wrote:
Dear Experts,
Kindly help with Q-2.
There is a confusion between Option A & E, as Both are mentioned in the passage.

Supporting Option A: However, empirical knowledge about the relative roles of large and small firms is generally based upon anecdotal evidence and case studies, and such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations.

Supporting Option E: An additional difficulty is that it is not obvious what criteria one should use to distinguish small firms from large ones.

While the portion of the passage that you quoted as it relates to (A) does suggest anecdotal evidence has been inadequate to answer major questions about the role of small firms, the passage does NOT suggest that anecdotal evidence supports the idea that small firms are insignificant.

In other words, the passage tells us that anecdotal evidence doesn’t answer some major questions, but it doesn’t tell us what questions those are. And it certainly doesn’t tell us that anecdotal evidence suggests small firms are not significant. For that reason, (A) is not supported by the passage, and we can eliminate it.

I hope that helps!
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The view has prevailed for the better part of the twentieth century th [#permalink]
Question 2 is tricky because the passage states that "such evidence has proved inadequate to answer major questions concerning the role of small firms across various industries and nations." The meaning of "inadequate" means insufficient, and by no means does it state that the small firms are insignificant. Option E "A more precise definition of the term "small firm" is crucial to making a conclusive analysis about small firms' role," certainly goes in a direction that the "definition of small firms" is a challenge and a more precise definition may help the empirical studies of small firms to make some conclusive analysis.

This lack of a standardized definition poses a challenge in empirical studies. Without a clear and agreed-upon definition, comparing and analyzing the role of small firms across industries and nations becomes complex. Therefore, having a precise and universally accepted definition of "small firms" is crucial to conducting accurate and conclusive analyses of their role in different contexts.
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