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A cost per unit could be 20, but it could also be 20 + 2q (in the cast of the latter, the cost per unit is a function whose result increases with each unit produced).

What is the term to describe when a single number is used where we could also expect a function?

I have in mind 'scalar', but I'm not sure if that's the best term.

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A cost function can be constant (in $q$), but this term is not particular to economics.

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  • $\begingroup$ In this case (cost functions), what do you think of the term 'unit cost' $\endgroup$ – stevec Jul 10 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ I think that unit cost (or rather cost per unit) is something like average cost. Average cost may be constant and may also change, so again I would just say constant average (or constant marginal) cost. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Jul 10 at 16:01
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I guess the term you're looking for is Linear Cost function?

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  • $\begingroup$ But both $C =20$ and $C=20+q$ are linear and the OP seems to want some terminology for the former not for both (although admittedly I am bit confused by the question). $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jul 10 at 16:35
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    $\begingroup$ But he said cost per unit. So the first one is linear, the second one is a quadratic cost. But yeah, its kinda confusing. $\endgroup$ – Tomcat Jul 10 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ oh I did not catch that, my bad. $\endgroup$ – 1muflon1 Jul 10 at 16:41

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