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The Effect of State Funeral Regulations on Cremations Rates: Testing for Demand Inducement in Funeral Markets

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Author Info

  • Harrington, David E
  • Krynski, Kathy J
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    Abstract

    This article presents evidence that state funeral regulations affect the choice of whether to cremate or bury dead bodies. States that require either funeral directors to be embalmers or funeral homes to have embalming preparation rooms have lower cremation rates, holding other factors such as income, age, educational attainment, nativity, religious adherence, race, and region constant. These embalming regulations reduce cremation rates by roughly 16 percent, which increases the amount spent on funerals by 2.6 percent. The article also presents evidence that funeral directors induce consumers to choose burial over cremation, which supports one of the fundamental premises underlying the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule. However, the additional evidence that inducement is more prevalent in states with stringent funeral regulations suggests that repealing state regulations that impede competition might be more effective than the Funeral Rule in attacking the problem of demand inducement. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 199-225

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:45:y:2002:i:1:p:199-225

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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    Cited by:
    1. Judith Chevalier & Fiona Scott Morton, 2006. "State Casket Sales and Restrictions: A Pointless Undertaking?," NBER Working Papers 12012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pagliero, Mario, 2013. "The impact of potential labor supply on licensing exam difficulty," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 141-152.
    3. Pagliero, Mario, 2011. "What is the objective of professional licensing? Evidence from the US market for lawyers," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 473-483, July.
    4. Mario Pagliero & Edward Timmons, 2013. "Occupational Regulation in the European Legal Market," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 10(2), pages 243-265, August.
    5. Lori Parcel, 2008. "Stiff Competition: Vertical Relationships in Cremation Services," Discussion Papers 07-041, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    6. Francisco Marcos, 2003. "La economía funeraria: demanda y oferta en el mercado de servicios funerarios," Working Papers Economia wpe03-18, Instituto de Empresa, Area of Economic Environment.
    7. Paolo Canofari & Giancarlo Marini & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2013. "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Prices for Funeral Homes in US States," CEIS Research Paper 260, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 11 Jan 2013.

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