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8 Wake Forest J. L. & Pol'y 29 (2018)
Numbers Matter: Estimating the Cost of State Funeral Regulations

handle is hein.journals/wfjlapo8 and id is 33 raw text is: 




S tate funeral regulations have been challenged in a series of
    court cases for unjustifiably increasing the cost of funerals to
consumers.' The plaintiffs' arguments rest on two types of
evidence: simple logic using economic reasoning, and statistical
evidence directly tying the regulations to the cost of funerals.2 The
first type, arguments based on logic, typically documents the extra
costs that a particular regulation imposes on firms and then argues
that these costs must be passed onto consumers via higher prices.3
The second type, statistical evidence, typically compares funeral
prices or expenditures across states with different regulations
while controlling for other factors affecting costs.4
       In this essay, we use new data on the price of funerals
across metropolitan areas of state capitals to explain how
economists estimate the cost of state funeral regulations. We chose
state capitals to highlight the cost that state legislators and
governors are imposing on their own neighbors by failing to
reform state funeral regulations, almost all of which were enacted
when funeral markets were far different than they are today.5 For

    t. Himmelright Professor of Economics, Kenyon College.
    #. Associate Professor of Economics, Kenyon College.
    1. SLJoseph Abbey v. Castille, 712 F.3d 215 (5th Cir. 2013); Brown v. Hovatter, 516
F.3d 357 (4th Cir. 2009); Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark v. Christie, No. 15-5647,
2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57443 (D.N.J. Apr. 29, 2016); Heffner v. Murphy, 866 F. Supp.2d
358 (M.D. Penn. 2012); Porter v. State, No. 2016AP1 599, 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 635 (Wis.
Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2017); Stoll v. Minn. Dep't of Health, No. 62-CV-12-443, 2013 WL
7204912 (Minn. Dist. Oct. 9, 2013).
    2. Jerry Ellig, State Funeral Regulations: Inside the Black Box, 48 J. REGUL. ECON. 97,
98-99 (2015).
    3. Id.
    4. Id. at 98.
    5. David Foos, State Ready-to-Embalm Laws and the Modern Funeral Market: The Need for
Change and Suggested Alternatives, 2012 MICH. ST. L. Rv. 1375, 1376 (2012).

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