Nearpod version available

Grade 9-12

Deriving Marginalism

Time: 90 mins,
Updated: March 25 2021,
Author: Liem Tran


Students will be able to:

  • Define marginal, total, variable, and fixed costs.
  • Describe the relationship between marginal cost and the slope of total cost (and/or variable cost) curve.
  • Define marginal revenue.
  • Describe the relationship between marginal revenue and total revenue.
  • Define average fixed, variable, and total costs.
  • Compare average total (or variable) cost with marginal cost.
  • Use calculus to derive the production quantity at which marginal cost equals marginal revenue.
  • Recognize that profit maximization (or loss minimization) occurs when marginal cost equals marginal revenue (unless the firm should close immediately).
  • Use the definition of limit to connect marginal analysis with derivative functions.
  • Determine the amount of profit (or loss) a firm would earn at the point at which marginal cost equals marginal revenue.

In this personal finance lesson, students will make a connection between derivatives and marginalism.


Click NEARPOD VERSION: DERIVING MARGINALISM to access an interactive version of the lesson powered by Nearpod: students interact and respond to questions on their device, and teachers will see their responses in real time!