opportunity cost

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opportunity cost (plural opportunity costs)

  1. (economics) The cost of an opportunity forgone (and the loss of the benefits that could be received from that opportunity); the most valuable forgone alternative.
    • 2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Implicit in this fixation with time is the thesis that the opportunity cost of regular shopping is too high – that the hours spent driving to the better bookstore in the next town can be spent doing something more valuable.
    • 2004, "Jeff Pillet-Shore: Second Year Winds Down," BusinessWeek, 7 Jun. (retrieved 30 Oct., 2008),
      Thanks to business school, I can understand how I've actually paid for this time at home with my family—the opportunity cost of my time, my forgone income, etc.

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