# How Do You Calculate MC

**Introduction**

Marginal cost (MC) is an essential concept in microeconomics that helps businesses determine the cost of producing each additional unit of a product. By understanding marginal cost, companies can make informed decisions regarding production levels, pricing strategies, and overall operational efficiencies. In this article, we will explain what marginal cost is and how to calculate it using a simple step-by-step method.

**What is Marginal Cost?**

Marginal cost refers to the additional cost incurred by producing one extra unit of a good or service. As a business increases its production, costs can change due to economies of scale, changes in resource use, or variations in production techniques. By calculating the marginal cost for each unit produced, companies can identify the optimal level of production at which their average production costs are minimized.

**How to Calculate Marginal Cost**

To calculate marginal cost, you need two main pieces of information: the total change in cost and the change in quantity.

**1. Determine the Initial Production Cost:** Identify and calculate the total production cost for a specific level of output. This amount should include both fixed costs (costs that remain constant regardless of how many units are produced) and variable costs (costs that change based on the quantity produced).

**2. Determine the New Production Cost:** Calculate the total production cost for an increased level of output (usually just one extra unit). Be sure to include both fixed and variable costs in this calculation.

**3. Calculate the Change in Cost:** Find the difference between the initial total production cost and the new total production cost. This amount represents the total change in cost from increasing your output by one unit.

**4. Calculate Change in Quantity:** Identify how many additional units were produced during this increase in output.

**5. Compute Marginal Cost:** Finally, divide the total change in cost by the change in quantity to find your marginal cost.

**Marginal Cost Formula**

To illustrate the above steps, you can use the following formula:

**Marginal Cost (MC) = (Change in Total Cost) / (Change in Quantity)**

**Example**

Imagine a company produces widgets. Their initial production level is at 100 units, with a total cost of $1,000. They decide to increase their production to 101 units, and the new total cost is $1,015.

**1. Initial Production Cost:** $1,000

**2. New Production Cost:** $1,015

**3. Change in Cost:** $1,015 – $1,000 = $15

**4. Change in Quantity:** 101 – 100 = 1

**5. Marginal Cost:** $15 / 1 = $15

Thus, the marginal cost of producing the 101st widget is $15.

**Conclusion**

Understanding and calculating marginal costs is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions about their production levels and pricing strategies. By monitoring and analyzing marginal costs, companies can identify optimal production levels and ultimately maximize profits.