McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

September 12, 2012

Slate: Don't ban Big Gulps

(Continued)

So the fact that New Yorkers pay uniform milk prices and San Franciscans don't has nothing to do with the tastes of the cities' residents, but rather the regulations imposed on their dairy markets. (And there are many places where prices are set as they are in New York, and many other places where prices are set as they are in San Francisco.) So it's possible to assess the effect of milk prices on milk purchases by comparing the two groups.

The research team_Romana Khan of Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Kanishka Misra of the London Business School, and Vishal Singh of NYU_collected scanner data from over 1,700 supermarkets for 2001 to 2006 to examine how milk-buying patterns differ around the country depending on whether lower-fat varieties of milk are cheaper than whole milk or exactly the same price. Focusing on gallon containers of store-brand labels, they find that even relatively modest price differentials between whole and 2 percent can shift purchasing behavior: For consumers in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, even a price difference of 5 percent or less between whole and 2 percent reduces whole milk's overall market share by 20 percent. For these low-income buyers, a 15 percent price gap cuts the whole milk's share in half_from 52 to 25 percent. Rich consumers_in the top 20 percent of the income distribution_buy a lot less whole milk than poor consumers even when its price is no higher than other milk. But even these high earners engage in milk comparison shopping: a 15 percent price differential between whole and 2 percent drops the market share of whole milk from 25 to 15 percent.

Are consumers simply replacing nutritious yet caloric whole milk with empty-caloried soda? Across regions with different milk-pricing formulas, there's no difference in the consumption of soda: It's simply higher across the board for lower-income shoppers. (This also serves to reinforce the plausibility of one the study's biggest assumptions: that regions with variable milk pricing don't have other attributes that might account for higher consumption of lower calorie milk. It's not as if people in San Francisco drink more soda than people in New York.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.