Definitions for opportunity cost
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word opportunity cost
cost in terms of foregoing alternatives
The cost of an opportunity forgone (and the loss of the benefits that could be received from that opportunity); the most valuable forgone alternative.
In microeconomic theory, the opportunity cost of a choice is the value of the best alternative forgone, in a situation in which a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources. Assuming the best choice is made, it is the "cost" incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would be had by taking the second best choice available. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines it as "the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen". Opportunity cost is a key concept in economics, and has been described as expressing "the basic relationship between scarcity and choice". The notion of opportunity cost plays a crucial part in ensuring that scarce resources are used efficiently. Thus, opportunity costs are not restricted to monetary or financial costs: the real cost of output forgone, lost time, pleasure or any other benefit that provides utility should also be considered opportunity costs.
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"opportunity cost." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/opportunity cost>.