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

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert B. Ekelund Jr & Edward O. Price III, 2012. "The Economics of Edwin Chadwick," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14915.
    2. David Yoskowitz, 2002. "Price Dispersion and Price Discrimination: Empirical Evidence from a Spot Market for Water," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(3), pages 283-289, May.
    3. Harrington, David E & Krynski, Kathy J, 2002. "The Effect of State Funeral Regulations on Cremations Rates: Testing for Demand Inducement in Funeral Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 199-225, April.
    4. Thierry Blayac & Patrice Bougette & Christian Montet, 2014. "How consumer information curtails market power in the funeral industry," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 421-437, June.
    5. Alison Cathles & David E. Harrington & Kathy Krynski, 2010. "The Gender Gap in Funeral Directors: Burying Women with Ready-to-Embalm Laws?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 48(4), pages 688-705, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Sandmo, Agnar, 2014. "The early history of environmental economics," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 10/2014, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.

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