Understand the three action procedure for making binary decisionsCalculate the chance expense of an actionUnderstand also exactly how sunk prices influence our decision making

Economics looks at how rational individuals make decisions. An vital part of being a rational decision maker is considering chance costs. In our introductory section we established the principle of scarcity. Usually we are rather great at considering scarcity when it pertains to resources and money. What we are much less excellent at considering is scarcity of time.

You are watching: Which of the following statements about opportunity cost are true?

Consider the complying with photo that mirrors the number of weeks an average huguy stays. Sometimes it type of feels choose our lives are consisted of of a numerous number of weeks. But tbelow they are—fully countable—staring you in the confront. This isn’t intended to scare you, but fairly to emphadimension that a rational consumer doesn’t overlook time, but incorporates it into the analysis of any kind of decision they make.

So how carry out you ‘spend’ your time? In economics, we desire to location a worth on each various opportunity we have actually so we deserve to compare them.

What if your friends were to ask you if you want to go out to the club? How much perform you worth it? As economists, we desire to measure the happiness you will certainly gain from this suffer by finding your maximum willingness to pay. Let’s say that for a 5 hour night at the club, the MOST you are willing to pay is $100. Seem high? If you have gone clubbing, this is likely cshed to what you passist for it.

Suppose the prices of going clubbing are $50 ($15 cover, $20 for drinks and $15 for a ride home). With that evaluation it seems prefer you need to go, but so much we have just thought about the explicit costs of the experience. An explicit cost represents a clear direct payment of cash (whether actual cash or from debit, credit, etc). But what around our time? We should take into consideration time as another price of the action.

How do we meacertain time? Simple – what else might we be doing with that time? Assume you likewise occupational as a server at the campus pub, where you obtain phelp $15 an hour (consisting of tips). This provides it basic to put a dollar amount on your time. For 5 hours of clubbing, you are forgoing the chance to earn $75 ($15 * 5). This is your implicit cost for clubbing, or the expense that has been incurred but does not bring about a direct payment.

It is necessary to note that the implicit costs are the advantage of the next best choice. There are an limitless variety of points we might be doing through our time, from watching a movie to studying business economics, yet for implicit costs we just think about the following finest. If we took them all into account our expenses would certainly be infinite.

Consider the two alternatives side by side.

Table 1.2a

This mirrors us something interesting. Even though we are willing to pay $100 to go out clubbing, our ‘happiness’ from functioning is better. A rational consumer would certainly decided to occupational. The $75 we might be earning from working is equal to our implicit costs of going out considering that, fairly than going clubbing, we might be making money for the 5 hrs. To truly take into consideration prices we need to constantly think about our possibility costs which incorporate the implicit and also explicit costs of an action.

Table 1.2b

In this example if you were to go clubbing possibility prices are:

Explicit Costs (cover, drinks and also ride home) : $50

Implicit Costs (forgone income from 5 hours) : $75

Opportunity Costs : $125

Should you go clubbing? You are only willing to pay $100, and your opportunity expenses are $125 so no!

Does this expect you must never before go out? Not at all. You just might be surprised that your willingness to pay may be well over $100.

How to measure ‘Happiness’

In our previous analysis we refer to the concept of “Total Delight.” The problem is, happiness is not a basic value to meacertain. Daniel Bernoulli, an economist, initially introduced the concept of utility as a way of measuring happiness. Classical economists will frequently assume that utilities deserve to be measured as a difficult number. In truth, it is need to harder to measure the happiness a consumer receives from a good. Often, we will certainly use the measurement of just how much a customer is willing to pay, yet also this information deserve to be challenging to assess. For the remainder of Topic 1, we will certainly describe happiness as something that can be measured, recognizing that this is rarely as simple as it will certainly appear right here.


This consideration of opportunity cost is rooted in an knowledge that all sources are scarce. The first photo paints a compelling photo of the scarcity of time, and our financial resources are likewise scarce. Being a rational decision maker suggests considering the scarcity of all sources linked with an action. As decision machines, we need to make trade-offs on what we perform via finite resources.

This leads us to a fairly basic conclusion. We have to execute something if the benefits outweigh the costs. The vital insight is that the costs we are referring to are possibility expenses, which think about the following ideal alternative usage of our resources.

Making Decisions

We have actually currently looked at exactly how to analyze 2 alternatives, but how do we make the decision? We can lay the process out in 3 steps:

Find your willingness to pay (or wage you would certainly earn) from the alternative you are considering and also the next ideal alternativeSubtract the explicit costs from each choice to find your happinessChoose the option with that makes you happier

If we desire to change this into the process for a binary decision (yes or no):

Add up all the benefits of an actionSubtract all costs explicit and implicitIf benefits > prices, this is the ideal choice

It is vital to note that not all decisions are binary.

Sunk Costs

Just as it is important to understand the costs that should be taken into consideration in decision making, it is necessary to understand what costs should not. Consider the two alternatives you may have once you wake up – carry out you work-related out or sleep in? Have you ever before encouraged yourself to gain out of bed by reminding yourself that you paid $60 for your monthly gym membership? Well, you dropped victim to a common logical fallacy.

A sunk cost is a cost that no matter what is unrecoverable. Therefore it have to have no impact on future decision making. This may sound stvariety, yet consider the your two options utilizing the evaluation learned over for making decisions.

Following our steps we find the maximum willingness to pay for each option, subtract the explicit expenses, and compare the happiness from each. It does not matter that we spfinish $60 on a gym membership bereason no matter what we carry out we can’t gain that money earlier. With this willingness to pay reflected in the table, the better choice is to Sleep-In, with an chance price of $20.

Notice that the $60 is not had as an explicit costs bereason it is not a secondary price we have to incur as an outcome of working out. Because we have already paid the $60, it is no longer somepoint we consider.

Why Buy a Gym Membership?

(Credit: “Scott Webb”/Unsplash Creative Commons)

Why would certainly one ever before buy a gym membership? Well in this case, it could be a poor concept. The ‘willingness to pay’ represents how badly someone can desire to go to the gym. If you knew that every morning you would certainly wake up and value resting more than functioning out, then a gym pass could not be for you.

If that was the instance you would certainly need to uncover a way to increase your willingness to go to the gym, for instance, if you committed to a work-related out setup with a friend, the social cost of sleeping in might be high, incentivizing you to gain out of bed.

The important lesboy right here is to be mindful of your future inspiration as soon as you are incurring a sunk cost.

Sunk Costs & Business

Sunk expenses aren’t exclusive to gym memberships, in truth, the sunk expense fallacy is common in huge service and also federal government. Ever heard the expression “we’ve invested also a lot in this task to ago out now?” Even if you have actually not, it sounds fairly logical – unfortunately it is not.

Consider a mining firm that has actually invested $5 million in the infrastructure of a mine. After brand-new indevelopment, they learn of an additional, richer mine site that they can mine for $4 million, via projected profits of $8 million. The present mine site will expense $1 million to extract the remaining sources ($4 million projected revenue). What must the firm do?

At presented the total profits from the brand-new website are better, so despite the reality they have invested $5 million in the old website, they have to abandon it and mine the new. The conclusion:

Sunk expenses are irappropriate for decision making.


Explicit Coststhe straight expense of an activity, usually requires a cash transactivity or a physical carry of resources.

Implicit Costs

the instraight cost of an activity, consists of the price of forgoing the following best option

Opportunity Cost

all costs connected via an activity, both explicit and implicitSunk Costsexpenses that have actually been phelp that cannot be recoveredTrade-Offsa sacrifice of resources (time, money etc.) to achieve a certain benefitWillingness to Paythe maximum amount of resources a consumer is willing to shed to achieve a certain benefit

Exercises 1.2

1. Which of the complying with statements about opportunity cost is TRUE?

I. Opportunity price is equal to implicit costs plus explicit prices.II. Opportunity cost just measures direct financial prices.III. Opportunity cost accounts for different provides of sources such as time and money.

a) I, II and also III.b) Ic) III only.d) I and III just.

2. Which of the adhering to statements around possibility costs is TRUE?

I. The chance expense of a offered action is equal to the worth foregamong all feasible alternative actions.II. Opportunity costs only measure straight out of pocket expenditures.III. To calculate accurately the opportunity expense of an activity we need to first identify the following best different to that action.

a) III only.b) I and also III just.c) II just.d) None of the statements is true.

3. Suppose that you deciding between seeing a move and also going to a concert on a certain Saturday evening. You are willing to pay $20 to view the movie and also the movie ticket prices $5. You are willing to pay $80 for the concert and also the concert ticket prices $50. The opportunity price of going to the movie is:

a) $5.b) $30.c) $35.d) $65.

4. Suppose that you are willing to pay $20 to see a movie on Saturday night. A ticket expenses $10, and also the next-ideal alternative use of your time would be to go to dinner via a friend. The price of the dinner is $20 and you worth the experience of having dinner with your frifinish at $60. The opportunity expense of seeing the movie is equal to:

a) $50.b) $30.c) $20.d) $10.

5. Suppose that you are willing to pay $50 to watch a movie on Saturday night. A ticket prices $15, and also the next-finest alternative use of your time would be to go to a concert which costs $80 and you worth at $100. The possibility expense of seeing the movie is equal to:

a) $15.b) $20.c) $35.d) $70.

6. Suppose you play a round of golf costing $75. The golf takes 4 hrs to play. If you were not playing golf you can be working and earning $40 per hour. The chance price of your golf game is:

a) $75.b) $235.c) $155.d) $160.

7. Suppose you have bought and paid for a ticket to watch Lady Gaga in concert. You were willing to pay as much as $200 for this ticket, however it only cost you $110. On the day of the concert, a frifinish supplies you a free ticket to the opera rather. Assuming that it is difficult to reoffer the Lady Gaga ticket, what is the minimum worth you would need to area on a night at the opera, in order for you to choose the opera over Lady Gaga?

a) $200.b) $110.c) $90.d) $0.

8. Suppose that you are willing to pay $350 to watch Leonard Cohen play at the Save-On-Foods Arena. Tickets price $100, and the next-best alternative usage of your time would certainly be to work-related in passist employment earning $50 over the evening. The chance cost of seeing Leonard Cohen is equal to:

a) $50.b) $100.c) $150.d) $200.

9. I am considering loaning my brvarious other $10,000 for one year. He has actually agreed to pay 10% interemainder on the loan. If I don’t loan my brother the $10,000, it will certainly continue to be in my bank account for the year, wbelow it will certainly earn 2% interest. What is the possibility expense to me of the loan to my brother?

a) $200.b) $800.c) $1,000.d) $1,200.

10. In January, in an effort to commit to getting fit, I signed a year-long, binding contract at a neighborhood gym, agreeing to pay $40 per month in membership fees. I likewise spent $300 on incredibly stylish gym clothing. This morning, I was trying to decide whether or not to actually go to the gym. Which of the adhering to was relevant to this decision?

a) The $40 that I paid the gym this month.b) The $300 I spent on gym garments.c) The truth that I additionally had to write a 103 midterm exam this day.d) All of the above were appropriate.

11. Suppose you have bought and paid for a ticket to see Kanye in concert. You were willing to pay as much as $350 for this ticket, but it just cost you $100. On the day of the concert, a friend provides you a totally free ticket to Lady Gaga instead. You deserve to resell your Kanye ticket for $80. What perform your sunk prices equal?

a) $0.b) $20.c) $80.d) $100.

12. Which of the adhering to statements about sunk costs is FALSE?

I. Sunk expenses are those that cannot be reextended, no issue what future action is taken.II. Because sunk costs cannot be respanned, they are irpertinent for future decision-making.III. The visibility of sunk costs deserve to impact future decision-making, if they are huge sufficient.

a) II and also III just.b) II just.c) III only.d) I and III only.

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13. As a member of UVic’s University Club, I pay $30 per month in membership fees. In a typical month I spend about $50 on beer at the Club. Eincredibly month I likewise have the alternative of attending a meeting of the whiscrucial club (open up only to Club members), at a expense per meeting of $15, payable at the beginning of each meeting. Given this, what do my monthly SUNK COSTS equal?