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Nineteenth Century Urban Market Failure?: Chadwick on Funeral Industry Regulation

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  • Ekelund, Robert B, Jr
  • Ford, George S

Abstract

This essay analyzes the regulatory theory and policy perceptions of Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890), the premier Benthamite utilitarian reformer. We focus on and analyze Chadwick's economic diagnosis of the London funeral market in the first half of the nineteenth century. In his view, externalities and market failure in both the burial and funeral service markets demanded socialization of property rights and implementation of a franchise bidding scheme. Chadwick's rationales for government intervention, including high taxes and information costs--unique, we believe, for his time--provide the basis for numerous forms of contemporary regulations at all levels in the United States today. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 27-51

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Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:12:y:1997:i:1:p:27-51

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100298

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Cited by:
  1. Sandmo, Agnar, 2014. "The early history of environmental economics," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2014, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  2. David Yoskowitz, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from a Spot Market for Water," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 283-289, May.
  3. Thierry BLAYAC & Patrice BOUGETTE & Christian MONTET, 2012. "How Consumer Information Curtails Market Power in the Funeral Industry," Working Papers 12-12, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Apr 2012.
  4. David E. Harrington, 2007. "Markets: Preserving Funeral Markets with Ready-to-Embalm Laws," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 201-216, Fall.
  5. Ekelund, Robert B. & Dorton, Cheryl, 2003. "Criminal justice institutions as a common pool: the 19th century analysis of Edwin Chadwick," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 271-294, March.

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