Costs in Economics

Cost, Economics is the study of how individuals, firms, and society make decisions about the allocation of resources. One of the most important considerations in making these decisions is cost. Cost can be defined as the resources used to produce a good or service. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of costs in economics and their impact on decision-making.

Types of Costs

There are several different types of cost in economics, including:

  1. Fixed Cost: Fixed costs are those costs that do not change with the level of production. Examples of fixed costs include rent, salaries, and insurance. Fixed costs are usually incurred regardless of whether a firm produces any output.
  2. Variable Costs: Variable cost are costs that vary with the level of production. Examples of variable costs include raw materials, wages, and electricity. Variable costs increase as output increases and decrease as output decreases.
  3. Total Costs: Total cost are the sum of fixed costs and variable costs. Total costs increase as output increases and decrease as output decreases.
  4. Marginal Costs: Marginal cost are the additional costs incurred when one more unit of output is produced. Marginal costs are calculated by dividing the change in total cost by the change in output.
  5. Average Costs: Average costs are the total cost divided by the level of output. There are two types of average costs: average variable costs and average fixed costs. Average variable costs are the variable costs divided by the level of output. Average fixed costs are the fixed costs divided by the level of output.
  6. Opportunity Costs: Opportunity cost are the value of the next best alternative that must be given up in order to pursue a certain action. Opportunity cost are not always monetary in nature, and can include things like time and effort.

Costs and Decision Making

In economics, cost is a crucial factor in decision-making. Firms need to weigh the costs and benefits of different options in order to maximize their profits. For example, a firm may need to decide whether to increase production. If the marginal cost of producing one more unit of output is less than the marginal revenue generated by that unit of output, then the firm should increase production. On the other hand, if the marginal cost is greater than the marginal revenue, then the firm should decrease production.

Firms also need to consider the fixed costs of production when making decisions. Fixed costs are sunk costs, which means that they cannot be recovered if the firm decides to stop production. Therefore, firms should not consider fixed cost when making decisions about whether to continue or stop production. Instead, they should focus on variable costs and marginal cost.

In addition to firms, individuals also consider costs when making decisions. For example, individuals may need to decide whether to invest in a new education program. If the cost of the program is greater than the expected future benefits, then the individual should not invest in the program. However, if the benefits are greater than the cost, then the individual should invest in the program.

Costs and Market Equilibrium

Costs also play a crucial role in market equilibrium. In a competitive market, firms compete to produce goods and services at the lowest cost possible. This means that firms need to find ways to reduce their costs in order to remain competitive.

If a firm is able to reduce its costs, it can lower its prices and attract more customers. This can lead to an increase in demand for the firm\’s products, which can in turn lead to an increase in production. However, if all firms in the market are able to reduce their costs, the supply curve shifts to the right and the equilibrium price decreases.

On the other hand, if a firm\’s costs increase, it may have to increase its prices in order to maintain its profitability. This can lead to a decrease in demand for the firm\’s products

All the different concepts discussed in Unit 23.3 of this chapter are interrelated in a number of ways. They can easily be computed or calculated mathematically with the aid of their various formulae.

The cost concepts are better interpreted and understood when they are arranged in a schedule called the cost of production schedule as in Table below

Any missing figure(s) can be calculated or filled up using other cost values and their respective formulae.

Unit of Output (IQ) NTotal Fixed Cost (TFC) NTotal Variable Cost (TVC) NTotal Cost Cost (TC) NAverage Total Cost (ATC) NAverage Variable Cost (AVC) NAverage Fixed Cost (AFC) NMarginal Cost (MC) N
1 2 3 4 5 6 720 20 20 20 20 20 2012 13 16 18 20 22 2432 34 36 38 40 42 4432 17 12 9.5 8 7 6.312 7 5.3 4.5 4 3.6 3.420 10 6.6 5 4 3.3 2.8– 2 2 2 4 2 2

As stated earlier, some of the figures in Table 23.1 may be missing and you are required to fill them up.

You can only do this by applying the various cost concept formulae to solve them.

Example 1

Complete the following cost schedules and answer the questions that follow.

Output QTotal Cost (TC)Average Cost (AC)Marginal Cost (MC)
1 2 3 4 5 618 14 ? 20 ? 488 ? 6 ? 6 ?– ? ? ? ? ?
  • At what output is AC at the minimum?
  • At what output is MC at the minimum?
  • At what output does AC start increasing?
  • At what output does MC start to be greater than AC?
  • What is the maximum output? (SSCE)


Output QTotal Cost (TC)Average Cost (AC)Marginal Cost (MC)
1 2 3 4 5 618 14 a 20 b 488 c 6 d 6 e– f g h i j

TC = AC x ouput

a = output 3

TC = AC x output = 6 x 3

TC = 18

b = TC = 6 x 5

TC = 30

                        TC                   =          14

c = AC =         output                          12        =  7

d = AC                        20        = 5


f           =          MC at output 2

                        TC 2 – TC = 14 – 18 = 6

g          =          MC at output 3 = 18 – 14 = 4

h          =          MC at output 4 = 20 – 18 = 2

i           =          MC at output 5 = 30 – 20 = 10

j           =          MC at output 6 = 48 – 30 = 18

In general, a producer is someone who creates or manufactures goods or services for sale or distribution. The term \”producer\” can refer to individuals, companies, or organizations that are involved in the production of a wide range of goods and services.

In the entertainment industry, a producer is typically responsible for overseeing the production of a film, television show, or other creative work. This can involve a range of tasks, including selecting and hiring the cast and crew, managing the budget and schedule, and making creative decisions about the project.

In the agricultural industry, a producer is someone who grows crops or raises livestock for sale or distribution. This can include farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers who are involved in the production of food, fiber, and other agricultural products.

In the context of economics, a producer is a company or individual who creates goods or services to sell on the market. This can include manufacturers, service providers, and other types of businesses that create products for consumers or other businesses.

Producers are individuals or companies who are involved in the creation or manufacture of goods or services. They play a crucial role in the economy by producing the goods and services that consumers need and want. Producers can be categorized into different types based on the nature of their production, such as:

  1. Agricultural Producers: These producers are involved in the cultivation of crops, raising of livestock, and production of other agricultural products.
  2. Industrial Producers: These producers are involved in the manufacturing of goods, such as automobiles, electronics, and clothing.
  3. Service Producers: These producers offer various services to consumers, such as healthcare, education, and entertainment.
  4. Creative Producers: These producers are involved in the creation of intellectual property, such as music, films, and books.

Producers are an essential part of the supply chain and are responsible for ensuring that goods and services are available for consumers to purchase. They also help to drive economic growth and create job opportunities.

  1. loans for businesses
  2. how to establish enterprises
  3. what is a firm
  4. price equilibrium
  5. scale of preference
  6. concept of economics
  7. economic tools for nation building
  8. budgeting
  9. factors affecting the expansion of industries
  10. mineral resources and the mining industries


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