# Marginal Input Cost - Explained

What is Marginal Input Cost?

# What is Marginal Input Cost?

Marginal cost is the additional cost of producing one more unit of output. It is not the cost per unit of all units produced, but only the next one (or next few). We calculate marginal cost by taking the change in total cost and dividing it by the change in quantity. For example, as quantity produced increases from 40 to 60 haircuts, total costs rise by 400 – 320, or 80. Thus, the marginal cost for each of those marginal 20 units will be 80/20, or \$4 per haircut. The marginal cost curve is generally upward-sloping, because diminishing marginal returns implies that additional units are more costly to produce. We can see small range of increasing marginal returns in the figure as a dip in the marginal cost curve before it starts rising. There is a point at which marginal and average costs meet.

The numerical calculations behind average cost, average variable cost, and marginal cost will change from firm to firm. However, the general patterns of these curves, and the relationships and economic intuition behind them, will not change.

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