IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Markets: Preserving Funeral Markets with Ready-to-Embalm Laws

  • David E. Harrington
Registered author(s):

    Thirty-nine states currently have ready-to-embalm laws, which typically require that all firms selling any type of funeral service (even those specializing in cremations) have embalming preparation rooms and all funeral directors be trained as embalmers. Ready-to-embalm laws are designed to preserve the status-quo in funeral markets, thereby protecting currently licensed funeral directors from the ravages of competition. These laws attempt to preserve funeral markets as they existed in the mid-twentieth century, markets that centered on traditional funerals sold by small, full-service funeral homes. The economic chemicals needed to preserve the status quo are harsh, leading to higher funeral prices and often poorer-quality services. The empirical evidence suggests that these laws reduce the cremation rate, the market share of Internet casket retailers, the penetration of national chains, and the number of funeral directors who are immigrants. They also appear to substantially increase the retail price of direct cremations and the cost of traditional funerals. Commissions in several states have recently recommended repealing ready-to-embalm laws, arguing that they are anticompetitive. The evidence presented in this paper should make their recommendations harder to ignore.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.21.4.201
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
    Pages: 201-216

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:4:p:201-216
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.21.4.201
    Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Ford, George S, 1997. "Nineteenth Century Urban Market Failure?: Chadwick on Funeral Industry Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 27-51, July.
    2. Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ono, Hiroshi & Zavodny, Madeline, 2002. "Gender and the Internet," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 495, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 19 Aug 2002.
    4. Judith A. Chevalier & Fiona M. Scott Morton, 2008. "State Casket Sales Restrictions: A Pointless Undertaking?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-23, 02.
    5. Daniel Sutter, 2005. "State Regulations and E-Commerce: The Case for Internet Casket Sales in Oklahoma," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 20(Spring 20), pages 27-42.
    6. Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-19, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:21:y:2007:i:4:p:201-216. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)

    or (Michael P. Albert)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.