Tomb price discrimination in cemeteries: competition in the market for corpses?
We study empirically the determinants of public tomb prices in a sample of Spanish towns. We document strong evidence in favor that cemeteries act as local monopolies that use second degree price discrimination to maximize profits. Additionally we report that local cemetery prices react to competition from private cremation companies. This competition is associated with lower price dispersion caused by an increase in the minimum niche prices with no effect on other higher niche prices. We conclude that cemeteries have accommodated and facilitated entry of private cremation companies through an increase in those niche prices more likely to affect cremation demand.
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