That's the question. With workshops and writing skills arguably making things "better," which means that the job of the agent is getting "harder," does this mean that they have to set their sights higher to find the next great big story?
Or...are they just getting jaded from the job?
See, here's what I'm on about: with a similar profession (movie critic), when the job is new and fresh, things are clean, clear, happy. Reviews flow swimmingly, and there's a lot of praise from that critic--he or she seems to be amiable and likes a lot of things. But as time goes on...they get a world view that is more "dim," for a lack of a better word. Cynical, perhaps; or less enthusiastic. Regardless, what happens is there appears to be a law of diminishing gain in play: over time the critic becomes more critical, if that makes sense.
Same too with literary agents? Just wondering. Since I don't actually know an agent--it's not like I can call up, for instance, Janet Reid, or one of the ladies at BookEnds and ask them, I leave it to you. Maybe one of you know.