What is marginal cost?


The increase or decrease in the cost to produce one additional product or supplying one additional customer is referred to as marginal cost. The term “incremental cost” is also used to describe it. Fixed and variable costs make up the two categories of marginal costs. Marginal costs are calculated using variable or direct production costs rather than fixed costs that the company would incur whether or not it increases production.

As production increases, fixed costs remain constant. Variable costs fluctuate according to production volume. Basically, marginal costs are defined as the cost of producing one extra item. Manufacturers, on the other hand, frequently examine batches of units to determine whether or not to continue production.

When enough goods have already been created to offset fixed costs and production has reached a break-even point, the only expenses moving forward are variable and direct costs. When average costs are stable, unlike when material costs fluctuate due to scarcity, marginal cost is usually just like average cost.

By determining the marginal cost, companies benefit by assessing when increasing the quantity of products created will cause the average cost to rise. If the company wishes to add equipment, transfer to a larger building, or having difficulties finding a supplier who can deliver adequate supplies, costs can rise as volume rises.

Divide the change in cost by the change in quantity or the number of additional units to get the marginal cost. The following is the formula:

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Pieter Borremans
By Pieter Borremans

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