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Levelized Product Cost: Concept and Decision Relevance

Author

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  • Stefan Reichelstein
  • Anna Rohlfing-Bastian

Abstract

This paper examines a life-cycle cost concept that applies to both manufacturing and service industries in which upfront capacity investments are essential. Borrowing from the energy literature, we refer to this cost measure as the levelized product cost (LC). Per unit of output, the levelized cost aggregates a share of the initial capacity expenditure with periodic fixed and variable operating costs. The resulting cost figure exceeds the full cost of a product, as commonly calculated in managerial accounting. Our analysis shows that the LC can be interpreted as the long-run marginal product cost. In particular, this cost measure is shown to be the relevant unit cost that firms should impute for investments in productive capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Reichelstein & Anna Rohlfing-Bastian, 2014. "Levelized Product Cost: Concept and Decision Relevance," CESifo Working Paper Series 4590, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4590
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4590.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carl Davidson & Raymond Deneckere, 1986. "Long-Run Competition in Capacity, Short-Run Competition in Price, and the Cournot Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    2. Hviid, Morten, 1991. "Capacity constrained duopolies, uncertain demand and non-existence of pure strategy equilibria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-190, July.
    3. Alexander Nezlobin, 2012. "Accrual Accounting, Informational Sufficiency, and Equity Valuation," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 233-273, March.
    4. Reichelstein, Stefan & Yorston, Michael, 2013. "The prospects for cost competitive solar PV power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 117-127.
    5. Nabil Al‐Najjar & Sandeep Baliga & David Besanko, 2008. "Market forces meet behavioral biases: cost misallocation and irrational pricing," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(1), pages 214-237, March.
    6. Madhav V. Rajan & Stefan Reichelstein, 2009. "Depreciation Rules and the Relation between Marginal and Historical Cost," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 823-865, June.
    7. Grant, Simon & Quiggin, John, 1996. "Capital Precommitment and Competition in Supply Schedules," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 427-441, December.
    8. Rogerson William P, 2011. "On the Relationship Between Historic Cost, Forward Looking Cost and Long Run Marginal Cost," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-31, June.
    9. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    10. William P. Rogerson, 2008. "Intertemporal Cost Allocation and Investment Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 931-950, October.
    11. Osborne, Martin J. & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "Price competition in a capacity-constrained duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 238-260, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:reaccs:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11142-017-9402-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:now:fntacc:1400000054 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Stefan J. Reichelstein & Anshuman Sahoo, 2015. "Cost- and Price Dynamics of Solar PV Modules," CESifo Working Paper Series 5674, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • M20 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - General
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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