Gene copy number variation has been discovered in humans, between related species, and in different cancer tissues, but it is unclear how much of this genomic-level variation leads to changes in the level of protein abundance. To address this, we eliminated one of the two genomic copies of 730 different genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and asked how often a 50% reduction in gene dosage leads to a 50% reduction in protein level. For at least 80% of genes tested, and under several environmental conditions, it does: protein levels in the heterozygous strain are close to 50% of wild type. For <5% of the genes tested, the protein levels in the heterozygote are maintained at nearly wild-type levels. These experiments show that protein levels are not, in general, directly monitored and adjusted to a desired level. Combined with fitness data, this implies that proteins are expressed at levels higher than necessary for survival.