Marginal Cost Formula is the way to show an increase or decrease in the total cost a business will incur by producing one more unit of a product or serving one more customer. If you plot marginal costs on a graph, you will usually see a U-shaped curve where costs start high but go down as production increases, but then rise again after some point. For example, in most manufacturing endeavors, the marginal costs of production decrease as the volume of output increases because of economies of scale.

Costs are lower because you can take advantage of discounts for bulk purchases of raw materials, make full use of machinery, and engage specialized labor. However, production will reach a point where diseconomies of scale will enter the picture and marginal costs will begin to rise again. Costs may rise because you have to hire more management, buy more equipment, or because you have tapped out your local source of raw materials, causing you to spend more money to obtain the resources.

Marginal Cost Formula/Production Cost Formula

Marginal cost represents the incremental costs incurred when producing additional units of a good or service. It is calculated by taking the total change in the cost of producing more goods and dividing that by the change in the number of goods produced. The usual variable costs included in the calculation are labor and materials, plus the estimated increases in fixed costs (if any), such as administration, overhead, and selling expenses. The marginal cost formula can be used in financial modeling to optimize the generation of cash flow.

Below we break down the various components of the marginal expenses formula.

Marginal cost components
Marginal cost components
Marginal Cost =  (Change in Costs) / (Change in Quantity)

Marginal Opportunity Cost Formula

Opportunity cost is something that affects everyone when they are faced with a buying decision. To illustrate this, suppose you’re in a new restaurant looking at the lunch menu and you can’t decide between the pasta, pizza and a sandwich. Those who find it hard to make decisions are painfully aware that ordering one item on the menu will immediately cost you the opportunity to order one of the others. The same principle applies to businesses. If you decided to open a hardware store and were selecting your location, signing a lease for one property would cost you the opportunity to choose a different location at least for your first store.

Often, opportunity costs can be measured with money. If you decided to buy a sandwich for lunch and spent your last $10, and if you were on a limited budget, this could cost you the opportunity to buy a coffee later in the afternoon. The fewer resources you have, the higher the opportunity cost will be. Another way to measure opportunity costs is with time. If you only have a half-hour for your lunch break, you may be unable to order a second meal, even if you were hungry and had the extra money that day.

As you increase the number of purchases you make, the more each subsequent purchase will cost you in terms of opportunity. After having a sandwich in that new restaurant, for example, you always have the choice to go back for dinner to try the pasta. However, once you have finished your dinner and are full, it’s unlikely you will have the opportunity to try the pizza that day.

marginal opportunity cost formula
the marginal opportunity cost formula

Instead of saying the opportunity cost increases with each purchase, economists call this marginal opportunity cost.

Social Cost Formula(MSC)

Marginal social cost (MSC) is the total cost society pays for the production of another unit or for taking further action in the economy. The total cost of the production of an additional unit of something is not merely the direct cost undertaken by the producer but also includes costs to other stakeholders and the environment as a whole. MSC is calculated as:

Marginal Social Cost Formula=MPC+MEC

where: MPC=marginal private cost

MEC=marginal external cost (positive or negative)

Understanding Marginal Social Cost MSC

The marginal social cost reflects the impact that an economy feels from the production of one more unit of a good or service.

Marginal Social Cost Example

Consider, for example, the pollution of a town’s river by a nearby coal plant. If the plant’s marginal social costs are higher than the plant’s marginal private costs, the marginal external cost is positive and results in a negative externality, meaning it produces a negative effect on the environment.

marginal social cost formula
marginal social cost formula

The cost of the energy that is produced by the plant involves more than the rate that the company charges because the surrounding environment the town must bear the cost of the polluted river. This negative aspect must be factored in if a company strives to maintain the integrity of social responsibility or its responsibility to benefit the environment around it and society in general.

Costs of Marginal Social Cost

When determining the marginal social cost, both fixed and variable costs must be accounted for. Fixed costs are those that don’t fluctuate such as salaries, or startup costs. Variable costs, on the other hand, change. For example, a variable cost could be a cost that changes based on production volume.

How Do You Calculate The Marginal Cost?

To Calculate Marginal Cost, Divide The Difference In Total Cost By The Difference In Output Between 2 Systems. For Example, If The Difference In Output Is 1000 Units A Year, And The Difference In Total Costs Is $4000, Then The Marginal Cost Is $4 Because 4000 Divided By 1000 Is 4.

What Is Marginal Cost Example?

The Marginal Costs Of Production Includes All Of The Costs That Vary With That Level Of Production. For Example, If A Company Needs To Build An Entirely New Factory In Order To Produce More Goods, The Cost Of Building The Factory Is A M Cost.

How Do You Calculate Marginal Cost Percentage?

It Is Calculated By Taking The Total Change In The Cost Of Producing More Goods And Dividing That By The Change In The Number Of Goods Produced.

How Do You Calculate Marginal Revenue And Marginal Cost?

The Marginal Revenue Is Calculated By Dividing The Change In The Total Revenue By The Change In The Quantity. In Calculus Terms, The Marginal Revenue Is The First Derivative Of The Total Revenue Function With Respect To The Quantity: Mr = Dtr/Dq.

How Is Average Variable Cost Calculated?

The Average Variable Cost (Avc) Is The Total Variable Cost Per Unit Of Output. This Is Found By Dividing Total Variable Cost (Tvc) By Total Output (Q). Total Variable Cost (Tvc) Is All The Costs That Vary With Output, Such As Materials And Labor.