In economics and finance, marginal cost is the change in the total cost that arises when the quantity produced has an increment by unit. That is, it is the cost of producing one more unit of a good. In general terms, marginal cost at each level of production includes any additional costs required to produce the next unit. For example, if producing additional vehicles requires building a new factory, the marginal cost of the extra vehicles includes the cost of the new factory. In practice, this analysis is segregated into short and long-run cases, so that over the longest run, all costs become marginal. At each level of production and time period being considered, marginal costs include all costs that vary with the level of production, whereas other costs that do not vary with production are considered fixed.
If the good being produced is infinitely divisible, so the size of a marginal cost will change with volume, as a non-linear and non-proportional cost function includes the following:
• variable terms dependent to volume,
• constant terms independent to volume and occurring with the respective lot size,
• jump fix cost increase or decrease dependent to steps of volume increase.
In practice the above definition of marginal cost as the change in total cost as a result of an increase in output of one unit is inconsistent with the differential definition of marginal cost for virtually all non-linear functions. This is as the definition finds the tangent to the total cost curve at the point q which assumes that costs increase at the same rate as they were at q. A new definition may be useful for marginal unit cost (MUC) using the current definition of the change in total cost as a result of an increase of one unit of output defined as: TC(q+1)-TC(q) and re-defining marginal cost to be the change in total as a result of an infinitesimally small increase in q which is consistent with its use in economic literature and can be calculated differentially.
Sayed Farrukh Ahmed
Faculty of Business & Economics
Daffodil International University