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Finding a conclusion

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Finding a conclusion

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Economist: During a recession, a company can cut personnel costs either by laying off some employees without reducing the wages of remaining employees or by reducing the wages of all employees without laying off anyone. Both damage morale, but layoffs damage it less, since the aggrieved have, after all, left. Thus, when companies must reduce personnel costs during recessions, they are likely to lay off employees.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the economist’s reasoning?

A) Employee morale is usually the primary concern driving companies’ decisions about whether to lay off employees or to reduce their wages.

B) In general, companies increase wages only when they are unable to find enough qualified employees.

C) Some companies will be unable to make a profit during recessions no matter how much they reduce personnel costs.

D) When companies cut personnel costs during recessions by reducing wages, some employees usually resign.

E) Some companies that have laid off employees during recessions have had difficulty finding enough qualified employees once economic growth resumed.


I believe the economist's conclusion is :- To reduce personnel costs during recessions, companies are likely to lay off employees
Supporting statements from premise:- layoffs damage morale less, since the aggrieved employees have, after all, left.
Addnl Info :- a company can cut personnel costs either by laying off some employees without reducing the wages of remaining employees or by reducing the wages of all employees without laying off anyone.

Now can someone explain why is D incorrect ? And also why A is better over D ?

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prachi18oct wrote:
Economist: During a recession, a company can cut personnel costs either by laying off some employees without reducing the wages of remaining employees or by reducing the wages of all employees without laying off anyone. Both damage morale, but layoffs damage it less, since the aggrieved have, after all, left. Thus, when companies must reduce personnel costs during recessions, they are likely to lay off employees.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the economist’s reasoning?

A) Employee morale is usually the primary concern driving companies’ decisions about whether to lay off employees or to reduce their wages.

B) In general, companies increase wages only when they are unable to find enough qualified employees.

C) Some companies will be unable to make a profit during recessions no matter how much they reduce personnel costs.

D) When companies cut personnel costs during recessions by reducing wages, some employees usually resign.

E) Some companies that have laid off employees during recessions have had difficulty finding enough qualified employees once economic growth resumed.


I believe the economist's conclusion is :- To reduce personnel costs during recessions, companies are likely to lay off employees
Supporting statements from premise:- layoffs damage morale less, since the aggrieved employees have, after all, left.
Addnl Info :- a company can cut personnel costs either by laying off some employees without reducing the wages of remaining employees or by reducing the wages of all employees without laying off anyone.

Now can someone explain why is D incorrect ? And also why A is better over D ?
D is just not all that supportive of the conclusion. Ok, sure, maybe companies would prefer not to see employees resign in response to wage reductions. So maybe that would support the conclusion that they will use layoffs instead. Having said that, it's possible that they don't even really care if a few people resign. There is not really an indication one way or the other.

A, on the other hand, clearly states that their primary concern when choosing between the two methods of reducing personnel costs is morale. So, if true, that would strengthen the conclusion that they will use the method that is best for morale, which is layoffs.

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Quote:
Economist: During a recession, a company can cut personnel costs either by laying off some employees without reducing the wages of remaining employees or by reducing the wages of all employees without laying off anyone. Both damage morale, but layoffs damage it less, since the aggrieved have, after all, left. Thus, when companies must reduce personnel costs during recessions, they are likely to lay off employees.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the economist’s reasoning?
I received a PM asking me to comment.

Conclusion: When companies must reduce personnel costs during recessions, they are likely to lay off employees.
Premise: Laying off employees will not damage morale as much as would reducing wages.

This argument exhibits a common flaw: a shift in language between the premise and the conclusion. The premise is about morale; the conclusion is about laying off employees. The argument assumes that these two concepts are intrinsically connected: that morale is the primary concern when deciding whether to lay off employees.

The correct answer choice will strengthen the link between morale and lay-offs. It will show that these two ideas are intrinsically connected (or it will eliminate other factors that a company might consider when deciding whether to lay off employees.)

(A) Employee morale is usually the primary concern driving companies’ decisions about whether to lay off employees or to reduce their wages. Correct. This answer choice connects morale to the decision about whether to lay off employees.

(B) In general, companies increase wages only when they are unable to find enough qualified employees. Outside the scope. The argument is not about increasing wages. Eliminate B.

(C) Some companies will be unable to make a profit during recessions no matter how much they reduce personnel costs. Outside the scope. The argument is not about making a profit. Also, when answering a strengthen/weaken question, avoid the word some. Some could be as few as one or two. Such a small number would have too small an effect on the argument. Eliminate C.

(D) When companies cut personnel costs during recessions by reducing wages, some employees usually resign. This answer choice could weaken the conclusion. The argument claims that the advantage of laying off employees is that the disgruntled employees will no longer work at the company, so morale will be less damaged. If reducing wages has the same effect -- if it also causes disgruntled employees to leave -- then the argument cannot claim that laying off employees will cause less damage to morale. Also, when answering a strengthen/weaken question, avoid the word some. Some employees could be as few as one or two. Such a small number would have too small an effect on the argument. Eliminate D.

(E) Some companies that have laid off employees during recessions have had difficulty finding enough qualified employees once economic growth resumed. Outside the scope. The argument is only about what happens during a recession. Also, when answering a strengthen/weaken question, avoid the word some. Some could be as few as one or two. Such a small number would have too small an effect on the argument. Eliminate E.

The correct answer is A.

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Thankyou GMATGuruNY for the detailed approach! Perfect!

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