Consumption of lowfat and skim milk has increased substantially over the past decade. This study investigates whether the change is due to price and expenditure effects or to a more fundamental preference change in milk demand. Parametric and nonparametric analytical approaches provide a comprehensive analysis of structural change in milk consumption in New York State. A nonparametric approach first finds evidence of structural change. A parametric likelihood-ratio test then confirms the existence of structural change using a Kalman filter specification. The value of this technical analysis of milk preferences is its implication for labeling initiatives. Milk fat labels have allowed consumers to act on a new set of preferences, thereby improving consumer welfare.


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