Constructing a Market Basket
Once you have made your list of the basic list of the goods and services—and their relative prices—you believe a Salvadoran family of four needs to live, research the official “canasta basica” for El Salvador. Compare your list to the official canasta basica. What items are included in both your list and the official list? What items were missing from your list? Are there any items you believe are missing on the official list? Are there any items included on the official list with which you don’t agree? How are prices calculated for the official list? Who issues the official canasta basica for El Salvador? How often is the canasta basica updated? Do you agree with the proposed quantities? Are there too much of some things or too little of other things? What is the difference in final cost when you compare your list with the official list?
As a group, decide what you believe the unemployment rate in El Salvador currently might be. Use the Internet to find at least 5 different statistics/sources for unemployment in El Salvador. (You might check Wikipedia, the CIA’s World Fact Book, official Salvadoran government websites, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations, CEPAL, nonprofit websites, etc.)
How is unemployment defined in El Salvador? How do the statistics given by different sources compare and contrast? Are street vendors, substance farmers, those undocumented abroad included in the statistics? Organize your findings into a brief report in which you summarize the state of unemployment in El Salvador. Do things, statistically speaking, appear to be getting better or worse? Do you feel the statistics reflect the reality you witness? Why or why not?