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The Cost of Death - Competition and Consumers in the Funerary Services Market

212 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2010  

Francisco Marcos

IE Law School

Date Written: November 1, 2005


This book develops an economic and legal analysis on the Spanish funerary services market from the point of view of antitrust and consumers’ protection laws. After describing the main services that can be contracted in this market, and the peculiar process of decision-making and consumption, the main agents of the market are examined, as well as the relationships between them and the legal framework in which they develop their activities, explaining the important liberalization of its regulation in 1997. The study of the agents, their behavior guidelines and the regulatory framework in which they act leads to the analysis on the competition restrictions on the funerary market, detailing the most common illegal practices that can be extracted from the Spanish Competition Tribunal’s resolutions and from the experience in other countries. From a contractual perspective, the weak position and vulnerability of consumers in this market due to information constraints and emotional reasons may justify the adoption of legal rules that protect them from potential abuses by funeral firms.

Notes: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Keywords: death rituals, funeral, disposal, cremation, funeral/memorial services, competition, cemetery, death insurance

JEL Classification: D18, D43, D80, H77, K23, K32, L89, L43

Suggested Citation

Marcos, Francisco, The Cost of Death - Competition and Consumers in the Funerary Services Market (November 1, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Francisco Marcos (Contact Author)

IE Law School ( email )

Castellón de la Plana 8
Madrid, Madrid 28006

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