The Law of Opportunity Cost

The opportunity cost is also called as alternative cost.
1) Opportunity Cost is the earning from the next best alternative sacrificed.

Example:
If a pair of bullock labour earns Rs.200.00 per day on ploughing, but it can also earn Rs.250.00 per day in alternative employment of carting hence the opportunity cost of ploughing is Rs.250.00 per day i.e. the value of the bullock labour in its best alternative use.
2) The cost of production of a crop is the value of the foregone alternative crop that the resources used in its production could have produced, IS opportunity cost.

Methods of calculating Opportunity Cost:
a) Gross Income Basis: When costs of production are equal.
b) Net Income Basis: When costs of production are unequal.
a) Example – Gross Income Basis

 Sr. No Enterprise Gross Income (Rs.) Cost of production (Rs.) Net Income (Rs.) 1 Tobacco 3600 1000 2600 2 Potato 5600 1000 4500

The opportunity cost of growing tobacco is the gross income of Rs.5600 which was sacrificed by not producing potato.
b) Example — Net Income basis

 Sr. Enterprise Gross Income (Rs.) Cost of production (Rs.) Net Income (Rs.) 1 Tobacco 3600 1000 2600 2 Potato 5600 1000 4600 3 Wheat 7000 1800 5200

The Opportunity cost of growing potato is the net income of Rs. 5200 which was sacrificed by not growing wheat.