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A "Mandate" for our (future) Funerals: Insurance and the Economics of Death

Abstract : During the last decade, the market in funeral insurance and pre-paid funeral arrangements has developed relatively suddenly in France, as it has been the case in other Western countries (UK, US, Australia) in recent decades. Since the beginning of the new millennium, the volume of funeral insurance has undergone constant growth (at a rate of 11 to 12 per cent per year since 2004), forming a new 'ad hoc market' built on an alliance between insurance companies and funeral companies. In order to understand the new market architecture taking shape, the paper will focus on the concrete production of the agencements and intermediaries at the interface of the connected markets, linking the insurance companies to the funeral service providers and to the future deceased and his relatives. We will examine the range of insurance policies 'formulas' which make up the supply of insurance policies and their various combination to pre-prearranged funeral service. The relationship between the low and high finance will be explored by interpreting these contract formulas as a "mandate" relationship which can take very different forms depending on the types of contract. The notion of 'mandate" throws light on the importance of linking together of a series of actors in the space and in the time. Attached to the financial capitalization, it incorporates organizational links and interdependencies between the different protagonists referring to the description of what is expected of the mandatory in terms of the delegation of an activity (here, services to be rendered). The analysis will be particularly attentive to the way the mandate refers to a more or less precisely defined set of commitments in terms of financial, human and material resources and operates as a mechanism that opens and closes the exchange opportunities along the chain. In the same time, we will consider to what extent the mandate (re)organizes the economic and social exchange in the relationship between the "nearest and dearest" and the (future) deceased.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00974987
Contributor : Pascale Trompette <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 9:24:38 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 9:28:29 AM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-00974987, version 2

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Pascale Trompette, Véron Bérangère, Olivier Boissin. A "Mandate" for our (future) Funerals: Insurance and the Economics of Death. Slom Knitting Workshop : "Understanding the knitting: New methods for investigating the interactions of low and high finance ", Jun 2013, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. ⟨halshs-00974987v2⟩

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