Despite its market volume of more than four billion EUR p. a. (in Germany) the market for funerals has been disregarded by economists so far. Nevertheless a burial is a high complex product involving not only an undertaker and a cemetery but also several other market actors like stone cutters, crematories and public authorities. Indeed, the providers find themselves in different market forms like a wide oligopoly in the case of funeral homes or a regional monopoly in the case of cemeteries. The abolition of legal conditions, changes in the individual way of life (e. g. a minor concentration on afterlife) and the consequences of the global financial crisis led to several changes and innovations in the market within the last years: E. g. caskets made of paper, an increasing market share of cremation in Germany and discount-funerals can be noticed. For the future we estimate a different role of the mortician. As the central protagonist he might become some kind of ‘manager’ being responsible for the complete funeral and acting as a grief counsellor for the surviving members of the family.
© 2009 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart