Share This Article:

Economic Definition of cost. Defined.

Offline Version: PDF

Term cost Definition: Best referred to as opportunity cost, this is the highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. This is a hallmark of anything dealing with economics -- or life for that matter -- because any action that you take prevents you from doing something else. The value expressed in terms of satisfaction of the foregone activity is your opportunity cost. Because there are usually several alternatives that aren't pursued, opportunity cost is the highest-valued one. An opportunity cost is sometimes compensated with some form of payment, like a wage. However, the existence of an opportunity cost is independent of any actual cash outlay.


« correlation | cost minimization »


Alphabetical Reference to Over 2,000 Economic Terms