Implicit cost is equal to:

normal profit occurs

Economic profit is the difference between the revenue received from the sale of an output and the costs of all inputs, including opportunity costs. When a company hires a new employee, there are implicit costs to train that employee. If a manager allocates eight hours of an existing employee’s day to teach this new team member, the implicit costs would be the existing employee’s hourly wage, multiplied by eight. This is because the hours could have been allocated toward the employee’s current role. Implicit costs are technically not incurred and cannot be measured accurately for accounting purposes.


These costs represent a loss of potential income, but not of profits. Implicit costs are a type of opportunity cost, which is the benefit that a company misses out on by choosing one option or alternative versus another. The implicit cost could be the amount of money a company misses out on for choosing to use its internal resources versus getting paid for allowing a third party to use those resources. For example, a company could earn income from renting out its building versus the revenue earned from using the building for manufacturing and selling its products.

Explicit Cost Examples

Implicit costs are the perceived or estimated loss in revenue from undertaking an action, but they do not have an actual transfer of money and are not recorded in accounting balance sheets. An example of an implicit cost is having to deal with a fire alarm, which causes a factory to shut down for two hours. There is no observable increase in costs, however by stopping production, it leads to lower output and so there is a loss of sales and income – even if it will not be recorded.

So the economic profit is calculated by obtaining the firm’s revenue and subtracting BOTH explicit and implicit costs. Accounting profits are a company’s profits as shown in its accounting records and financial statements . However, accounting profits, which are calculated as total revenues minus total expenses, only reflect actual cash expenses that a company pays out – its explicit costs. A company may choose to include implicit costs as the cost of doing business since they represent possible sources of income. Economists include both implicit costs and the regular costs of doing business when calculating total economic profit. In other words, economic profit is the revenue a company generates minus the cost of doing business and any opportunity costs.

By contrast, implicit cost is equal to costs are those which occur, but are not seen. In other words, these are the costs that are not directly linked to an expenditure. For example, a factory may close down for the day in order for its machines to be serviced.

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Generally, governments will often attempt to intervene in order to increase market competition in industries where monopolies occur, often throughantitrustlaws or similar regulations. Such laws are meant to prevent large and well established companies from using their foothold in the market to reduce prices and drive out new competition. An implicit expense could either be any fund that a company is yet to receive or any internally preserved resource. Though the transaction never occurs, it is still used to handle financial requirements without changing hands.

Lack of competition keeps prices higher than the competitive market equilibrium price. For example, firms can collude and work together to restrict supply to artificially keep prices high. Marginal analysis is an examination of the additional benefits of an activity when compared with the additional costs of that activity.

Economic profit is the profit an entity achieves after accounting for both explicit and implicit costs. Implicit costs are also referred to as imputed, implied, or notional costs. That’s because businesses don’t necessarily record implicit costs for accounting purposes as money does not change hands. These costs are in contrast to explicit costs, which represent money exchanged or the use of tangible resources by a company. Total cost is what the firm pays for producing and selling its products.

In the short run, a firm can make an economic profit. However, if there is economic profit, other firms will want to enter the market. If the market has no barriers to entry, new firms will enter, increase the supply of the commodity, and decrease the price. This decrease in price leads to a decrease in the firm’s revenue, so in the long-run, economic profit is zero.

Economic and Normal Profit

The term normal profit may also be used in macroeconomics to refer to economic areas broader than a single business. In addition to a single business, as in the example above, normal profit may refer to an entire industry or market. In macroeconomic theory, normal profit should occur in conditions ofperfect competitionandeconomic equilibrium. Conceptually this is because competition eliminates economic profit. Moreover, economic profit can serve as a key metric for understanding the state of profits comprehensively within an industry.

An explicit costs are measurable and will be included in profit/loss accounts. For example, if the firm hires a new worker, their salary will be an explicit cost which will be put on the accounting balance sheet. The explicit cost of hiring a worker may be £20,000 a year. But, hiring a new worker may also imply some implicit costs. For example, to welcome the new worker and train him to a necessary standard may take the time of the manager, who cannot do other tasks as he trains the new workers.

Implicit Cost Examples

Implicit costs, also known as opportunity costs, are costs that will influence economic and normal profit. When substantial implicit costs are involved, normal profit can be considered the minimum amount of earnings needed to justify an enterprise. Unlike accounting profit, normal profit and economic profit take into consideration implicit or opportunity costs of a particular enterprise. Accounting profit is the difference between total monetary revenue and total monetary costs, and is computed by using generally accepted accounting principles . Put another way, accounting profit is the same as bookkeeping costs and consists of credits and debits on a firm’s balance sheet.

  • A firm’s cost structure in the long run may be different from that in the short run.
  • Normal profit and economic profit are economic considerations while accounting profit refers to the profit a company reports on its financial statements each period.
  • They are common to virtually any business enterprise, even though they are not usually reflected in the business’ accounting records as explicit costs are.
  • Economic profit consists of revenue minus implicit and explicit costs; accounting profit consists of revenue minus explicit costs.
  • If economic profit is positive, other firms have an incentive to enter the market.

Maybe Fred values his leisure time, and starting his own firm would require him to put in more hours than at the corporate firm. In this case, the lost leisure would also be an implicit cost that would subtract from economic profits. However, these calculations consider only the explicit costs.

For example, if a firm owns spare land, it can use it to set up a new plant to speed up production. Here, the company uses its internal resource without having to pay for them or receive any rent from others using them. Implicit costs are non-monetary opportunity costs that result from a business – rather than incurring a direct, monetary expense – utilizing an asset or resource that it already owns. An implicit cost is a non-monetary opportunity cost that is the result of a business – rather than incurring a direct, monetary expense – utilizing an asset or resource that it already owns. The cost is a non-monetary one because there is no actual payment by the business for the use of the existing resource.

Explicit costs

An implicit cost is any cost that has already occurred but not necessarily shown or reported as a separate expense. It represents an opportunity cost that arises when a company uses internal resources toward a project without any explicit compensation for the utilization of resources. This means when a company allocates its resources, it always forgoes the ability to earn money off the use of the resources elsewhere, so there’s no exchange of cash. Put simply, an implicit cost comes from the use of an asset, rather than renting or buying it.

  • When looking at a firm’s financial statements, these costs are subtracted from the firm’s revenue to obtain its accounting profit.
  • Normal profit allows business owners to compare the profitability of their work with that of other possible business ventures.
  • An implicit cost is the cost of choosing one option over another.
  • The biggest difference between accounting and economic profit is that economic profit reflects explicit and implicit costs, while accounting profit considers only explicit costs.

A student going to college could be working instead. Even in a minimum wage job, that would be approximately $12,000 per year – which is the implicit cost. They could be earning $12,000 a year if they didn’t go to college.

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Level of output where marginal revenue is equal to marginal cost. Level of output where economic profit is equal to zero. Average total cost minus average fixed cost. The change in total variable cost divided by the change in output.

When economic profit is zero, a firm is earning the same as it would if its resources were employed in the next best alternative. If the economic profit is negative, firms have the incentive to leave the market because their resources would be more profitable elsewhere. The amount of economic profit a firm earns is largely dependent on the degree of market competition and the time span under consideration. Economic profit consists of revenue minus implicit and explicit costs; accounting profit consists of revenue minus explicit costs.

Wages paid to workers, rent paid to a landowner, and material costs paid to a supplier are all examples of explicit costs. Collectively actions from all industry participants can contribute to the level of revenue and total costs required for the normal profit level. ABC invests $10,000 in certain businesses, intending to earn probable profits worth $5000 in a year.

Now that we have an idea about the different types of costs, let’s look at cost structures. A firm’s cost structure in the long run may be different from that in the short run. We turn to that distinction in the next few sections. Maintenance means the firm has to stop production for a time which can lead to a lower level of output or dissatisfied customers. Lipsey uses the example of a firm sitting on an expensive plot worth $10,000 a month in rent which it bought for a mere $50 a hundred years before.

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An economic profit of zero is also known as a normal profit. Despite earning an economic profit of zero, the firm may still be earning a positive accounting profit. In contrast, implicit costs are the opportunity costs of factors of production that a producer already owns. For example, a paper production firm may own a grove of trees. The implicit cost of that natural resource is the potential market price the firm could receive if it sold it as lumber instead of using it for paper production.

Explicit costs are those which are clearly stated on the firm’s balance sheet, whilst implicit costs are not. Instead, it is the indirect cost of choosing a specific course. When combined together, explicit and implicit costs make up what is known to be the total economic cost. This is because the cost of choosing option A has an explicit cost as well as an implicit cost of what could have been achieved otherwise.

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