If You Love Your Alma Mater to Death
According to an Associated Press article, the city of College Station, Texas, home of Texas A&M University, will be marketing a section of its cemetery for A&M graduates. Although other schools have them, this is the first university-related cemetery in Texas. The price of a plot is $2,000 compared to $950 in the regular section. Residents will have a “view” of the football stadium and, as the marketing director of the cemetery put it, “This is another opportunity for former students to be someplace close to campus when they’re gone.”
I wonder, since the cemetery is a monopoly, whether it is extracting all the consumer surplus from the Aggies, because $2,000 seems like a low price to me. I also wonder whether cemeteries at other schools would be or are already charging more. The price charged might be a good measure of the price elasticity of demand by decedent alumni at different schools.
A neat project would be to infer the extent of school spirit from the estimate of the price elasticity implied by the prices that different university cemeteries charge.