Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



A rather dramatic change has occurred in the consumption of butter in the United States. Butter consumption per person for the years since World War II has been only about half of what it was during the years between World War I and World War II, but since that time consumption has remained at the lower level. The question arises as to whether there has been a basic change in consumer responses to butter prices. The purpose of this paper was to compare aggregate consumer response to retail butter price in the domestic civilian sector of the butter market in the United States during the two periods 1924-41 and 1947-59. After an inquiry in to the background of the butter market, the demand elasticities for the two periods were calculated to determine whether a change in elasticity of demand occurred. A shift in the level of demand for butter was reveled buy this study. The investigation ws limited to the domestic civilian disappearance of butter in the United States. It excluded butter purchased partly or wholly with government funds and amounts of butter distributed from supplies of the Commodity Credit Corporation. It included and estimate for the butter churned and consumed in farms that otherwise would have been purchased by family farms, The procedure followed in this study was (a) to examine information from published sources on the consumption of butter in the United States; (b) to clarify by means of economic model the primary factors or variables affecting the consumption of butter; (c) to calculate the elasticity of demand for butter with respect to three variables for the periods 1924-41 and 1947-59’ and (d) to analyze the results of the statistical inquiry.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Butter trade -- United States


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University