Variable Cost vs. Fixed Cost: What’s the Difference?

Variable Cost vs. Fixed Cost: What’s the Difference? 变动成本和固定成本:有什么区别?

Variable Cost vs. Fixed Cost: An Overview 变动成本与固定成本:概述

In economics, variable costs and fixed costs are the two main costs a company has when producing goods and services. A variable cost varies with the amount produced, while a fixed cost remains the same no matter how much output a company produces. 在经济学中,变动成本和固定成本是公司在生产产品和提供服务时的两项主要成本。变动成本随着产量的变化而变化,而固定成本则与公司的产量无关。

Variable Cost 变动成本

A variable cost is a company’s cost that is associated with the number of goods or services it produces. A company’s variable cost increases and decreases with its production volume. When production volume goes up, the variable costs will increase. On the other hand, if the volume goes down, so too will the variable costs. 变动成本是一个公司的成本,它与公司生产的产品或服务的数量有关。公司的变动成本随着产量的增加而增加或减少。当产量增加时,变动成本就会增加。另一方面,如果产量下降,变动成本也会下降。

Variable costs are generally different between industries. Therefore it’s not useful to compare the variable costs between a car manufacturer and an appliance manufacturer because their product output isn’t comparable. So it’s better to compare the variable costs between two businesses that operate in the same industry, such as two car manufacturers. 不同行业之间的变动成本通常是不同的。因此,比较汽车制造商和家电制造商之间的变动成本是没有用的,因为他们的产品产量是不可比较的。所以最好是比较同一行业中两家企业的变动成本,比如两家汽车制造商。

Variable costs can be calculated by multiplying the quantity of output by the variable cost per unit of output. So, suppose company ABC produces ceramic mugs for a cost of $2 a mug. If the company produces 500 units, its variable cost will be $1,000. However, if the company does not produce any units, it will not have any variable cost for producing the mugs. Similarly, if the company produces 1000 units, the cost will rise to $2,000. This calculation is simple and obviously does not take into account any other costs such as labor or raw materials. 变动成本可以通过产量乘以每单位产量的变动成本来计算。假设ABC公司生产陶瓷马克杯的成本是2新元一个。如果公司生产500台,它的变动成本是1000新元。然而,如果该公司不生产任何单位,它将没有任何变动成本生产的杯子。同样,如果公司生产1000台,成本将上升到2000新元。这种计算很简单,而且显然没有考虑任何其它成本,如劳动力或原材料。

Examples of variable costs include labor costs, utility costs, commissions, and the cost of raw materials that are used in production. 变动成本的例子包括劳动力成本、公用事业成本、佣金和用于生产的原材料成本。

Fixed Cost 固定成本

A fixed cost is the other cost incurred by businesses and corporations. Unlike the variable cost, a company’s fixed cost does not vary with the volume of production. It remains the same even if no goods or services are produced, and therefore, cannot be avoided. 固定成本是企业和公司发生的其它成本。与变动成本不同,公司的固定成本不随产量的变化而变化。即使没有商品或服务被生产出来,它仍然是一样的,因此,是不可避免的。

Using the same example above, suppose company ABC has a fixed cost of $10,000 per month for the rent of the machine it uses to produce mugs. If the company does not produce any mugs for the month, it would still have to pay $10,000 for the cost of renting the machine. On the other hand, if it produces one million mugs, its fixed cost remains the same. The variable costs change from zero to $2 million in this example. 使用上面的相同示例,假设公司ABC为生产杯子的机器的租金每月固定成本为10,000新元。如果该公司这个月不生产任何杯子,它仍然需要支付1万新元的机器租金。另一方面,如果生产100万马克杯,其固定成本不变。在本例中,变量成本从0更改为200万新元。

The more fixed costs a company has, the more revenue a company needs in order to break even, which means it needs to work harder to produce and sell its products. That’s because these costs occur regularly and rarely change. 一个公司的固定成本越多,它需要更多的收入才能达到收支平衡,这意味着它需要更加努力地生产和销售它的产品。这是因为这些成本经常发生,很少改变。

The most common examples of fixed costs include lease and rent payments, utilities, insurance, certain salaries, and interest payments. 固定成本最常见的例子包括租金、水电费、保险费、某些工资和利息支出。

While variable costs tend to remain flat, the impact of fixed costs on a company’s bottom line can change based on the number of products it produces. So, when production increases, the fixed cost drops. The price of a greater amount of goods can be spread over the same amount of a fixed cost. A company can, therefore, achieve economies of scale. 虽然变动成本往往保持不变,但固定成本对公司底线的影响可能会随着生产产品的数量而变化。因此,当产量增加时,固定成本下降。大量商品的价格可以分摊到相同数量的固定成本上。因此,一个公司可以实现规模经济。

For example, ABC has a lease of $10,000 a month on its production facility and it produces 1,000 mugs per month. It can spread the fixed cost of the lease at $10 per mug. If it produces 10,000 mugs a month, the fixed cost of the lease goes down, to the tune of $1 per mug. 例如,ABC的生产设施每月租金为1万新元,每月生产1000个马克杯。它可以分摊每个杯子10新元的固定租赁费用。如果每月生产1万个马克杯,那么租赁的固定成本就会下降,每杯1新元。

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