What Is Another Way to Say “Opportunity Cost”?

Looking for synonyms for opportunity cost? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say opportunity cost.

  • Trade-off
  • Alternative cost
  • Cost of foregoing
  • Economic sacrifice
  • Missed opportunity value
  • Benefit foregone
  • Implicit cost
  • Sacrifice ratio
  • Next best alternative
  • Cost of choice
  • Non-recovery cost
  • Choice cost
  • Foregone benefit
  • Lost opportunity value
  • Counterfactual cost

Want to learn how to say opportunity cost professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Trade-off

Used to describe a situation where choosing one option results in the sacrifice of another.

  • Example: The trade-off for accelerating the project’s timeline is the increased risk of errors due to rushed work.

2. Alternative Cost

Refers to the cost associated with choosing one alternative over another.

  • Example: The alternative cost of investing in new technology is the opportunity to expand the current product line.

3. Cost of Foregoing

Describes the cost incurred by not choosing the next best alternative.

  • Example: The cost of foregoing the expansion into new markets could be significant in terms of lost revenue.

4. Economic Sacrifice

Refers to the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

  • Example: The economic sacrifice of choosing short-term profits could be the long-term sustainability of the company.

5. Missed Opportunity Value

Highlights the value lost by not pursuing an available option.

  • Example: The missed opportunity value of not adopting green technologies early could include market share and reputation.

6. Benefit Foregone

Describes the benefits that are given up by choosing one option over another.

  • Example: The benefit foregone by cutting research and development funding is the potential innovation that could drive future growth.

7. Implicit Cost

Refers to the indirect costs which are not readily apparent but result from the choices made.

  • Example: The implicit cost of maintaining an outdated system is the efficiency that could be gained with an upgrade.

8. Sacrifice Ratio

A more technical term that quantifies the cost of choosing one option in terms of how much of another is sacrificed.

  • Example: The sacrifice ratio of increasing production capacity now is the delay in research and development projects.

9. Next Best Alternative

Describes the best option that is foregone when a different decision is made.

  • Example: The next best alternative to launching a new product line was the expansion of existing product distribution channels.

10. Cost of Choice

Emphasizes the cost associated with making a particular decision.

  • Example: The cost of choice for relocating the company headquarters includes both the financial outlay and the impact on employee morale.

11. Non-recovery Cost

Refers to costs that cannot be recovered once a particular path is chosen.

  • Example: The non-recovery cost of signing an exclusive supplier agreement is the flexibility to negotiate with other suppliers in the future.

12. Choice Cost

Similar to cost of choice, focusing on the costs that arise specifically from making a decision.

  • Example: The choice cost of implementing a new IT system is the training time required for staff to reach full productivity.

13. Foregone Benefit

Highlights the lost potential benefits due to the decisions made.

  • Example: The foregone benefit of not participating in the industry conference is the lost networking and learning opportunities.

14. Lost Opportunity Value

Similar to missed opportunity value, focusing on the value lost by not choosing a particular course of action.

  • Example: The lost opportunity value of not investing in employee training is decreased productivity and job satisfaction.

15. Counterfactual Cost

A term often used in analysis to describe the cost associated with the path not taken, based on a hypothetical alternative scenario.

  • Example: The counterfactual cost of not diversifying the investment portfolio could be assessed by comparing current returns to those of a more diversified portfolio under similar market conditions.

Linda Brown