# Economic Profit or Loss Definition Formula and Example

## Economic Profit or Loss Definition

Economic profit or loss is a concept in economics that measures the financial performance of a business or investment by taking into account both explicit and implicit costs. It is a more comprehensive measure than accounting profit, as it considers the opportunity cost of resources used in a particular venture.

Unlike accounting profit, which only considers the explicit costs and revenue, economic profit provides a more accurate representation of the true financial performance of a business or investment. It takes into account the full cost of resources used, including the foregone opportunities.

### Calculating Economic Profit

The formula for calculating economic profit is:

Total explicit costs include all the actual expenses incurred in the production process, such as wages, rent, utilities, and materials. Total implicit costs, on the other hand, include the opportunity cost of the owner’s time and the use of their own capital.

If the economic profit is positive, it indicates that the business or investment is generating more revenue than the total costs, including the opportunity cost. A negative economic profit, on the other hand, suggests that the venture is not generating enough revenue to cover all the costs, including the opportunity cost.

### Example of Economic Profit

For example, let’s say a small business owner invests \$100,000 of their own capital into starting a new venture. In the first year, the business generates \$150,000 in revenue and incurs \$80,000 in explicit costs, such as wages, rent, and materials.

To calculate the economic profit, we need to consider the opportunity cost of the owner’s time and the use of their own capital. Let’s assume that the owner could have earned a salary of \$50,000 working for another company and could have earned a return of 5% on their capital by investing it elsewhere.

The total implicit costs would be \$50,000 (opportunity cost of the owner’s time) + \$5,000 (opportunity cost of the owner’s capital) = \$55,000.

This positive economic profit indicates that the business is generating a net benefit of \$15,000 after considering all the costs, including the opportunity cost of the owner’s resources.

Economic profit is a measure used in economics to assess the profitability of a business or investment. It takes into account both explicit costs, which are the actual expenses incurred by a firm, and implicit costs, which are the opportunity costs of using resources in a particular way.

Explicit costs include expenses such as wages, rent, utilities, and raw materials. These costs are easily quantifiable and can be deducted from revenue to determine accounting profit. However, economic profit goes beyond accounting profit by also considering implicit costs.

Implicit costs are the foregone opportunities that arise from using resources in a particular way. For example, if a business owner invests \$100,000 in a new venture, the implicit cost is the potential return that could have been earned by investing the same amount of money in an alternative investment. This opportunity cost is not reflected in accounting profit but is taken into account in economic profit calculations.

To calculate economic profit, both explicit costs and implicit costs are subtracted from revenue. If the result is positive, it indicates that the business or investment is generating a profit above and beyond the costs incurred. On the other hand, if the result is negative, it means that the business or investment is experiencing a loss.

Economic profit is a useful tool for decision-making because it provides a more comprehensive view of profitability. By considering both explicit and implicit costs, it helps business owners and investors assess the true value of their resources and make informed choices about how to allocate them.

It is important to note that economic profit is different from accounting profit, which only takes into account explicit costs. A business may be generating a positive accounting profit but still have a negative economic profit if the implicit costs outweigh the explicit costs.

In summary, economic profit takes into account both explicit and implicit costs to provide a more accurate measure of profitability. By considering the opportunity costs of using resources in a particular way, it helps businesses and investors make informed decisions about resource allocation and assess the true value of their investments.

## Calculating Economic Profit

Calculating economic profit involves subtracting both explicit and implicit costs from total revenue. Explicit costs are the actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in producing a good or service, such as wages, rent, and materials. Implicit costs, on the other hand, are the opportunity costs associated with using resources in a particular way. These costs include the foregone income from the next best alternative use of those resources.

To calculate economic profit, one must first determine total revenue, which is the amount of money generated from selling goods or services. This can be calculated by multiplying the price of the good or service by the quantity sold. Once total revenue is determined, explicit costs are subtracted to calculate accounting profit.

For example, let’s say a business generates \$100,000 in total revenue from selling a product. The explicit costs associated with producing the product amount to \$50,000. However, the owner of the business could have earned \$30,000 working at another job. This represents the implicit cost of running the business. Therefore, the economic profit would be calculated as follows:

Calculating economic profit is important for businesses as it provides a more accurate measure of profitability. By considering both explicit and implicit costs, economic profit provides a clearer picture of the true financial performance of a business.

## Example of Economic Profit

Let’s consider an example to understand the concept of economic profit better. Suppose you are the owner of a small bakery business. To simplify the calculations, let’s assume that you have only two costs: the cost of ingredients and the cost of labor.

### Cost of Ingredients:

Every day, you purchase ingredients worth \$100 to make your baked goods. This cost is considered a variable cost because it changes with the level of production. If you decide to increase your production and purchase ingredients worth \$200, the cost of ingredients will also double.

### Cost of Labor:

You have one employee who helps you in the bakery. You pay them a fixed salary of \$50 per day, regardless of the level of production. This cost is considered a fixed cost because it remains constant regardless of the production level.

Now, let’s assume that you sell your baked goods for \$300 per day. To calculate your economic profit, you need to subtract both the variable and fixed costs from your revenue.

Revenue = \$300

Variable Costs (Cost of Ingredients) = \$100

Fixed Costs (Cost of Labor) = \$50

Economic Profit = \$150