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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: Prices for Funeral Homes in US States

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Abstract

The need for a proper burial is widely felt. This paper makes use of an original data set to explore the relationship between the prices of cemetery plots and the prices of housing. It considers a simple model where the services from both real estate and funeral homes enter individuals’ utility function, and derives testable propositions in order to analyse the relation between housing when alive and after death. The services from funeral homes and from conventional housing are complements in the households’ utility. On the other hand, the services from funeral homes are an inferior good: a lower personal income is associated with higher grave prices.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:260
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731.
    3. Anne Case & Alicia Menendez, 2011. "Requiescat in Pace? The Consequences of High-Priced Funerals in South Africa," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in the Economics of Aging, pages 351-373 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vincenzo Verardi & Christophe Croux, 2009. "Robust regression in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 439-453, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762.
    7. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    8. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-293, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Funerary Homes; Housing Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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