另一方面，即使会计利润为正，经济利润也可能为负。考虑与以前相同的设置，但这一次让我们假设您必须放弃每年70,000美元的工作而不是每年50,000美元的工作才能经营业务。您的会计利润仍为60,000美元，但现在您的经济利润为 – 10,000美元。负经济利润意味着您可以通过寻求其他机会做得更好。在这种情况下， – 10,000美元代表您通过运营业务而赚取的价格低于10,000美元，并且通过每年70,000美元的工作赚取60,000美元。
As stated earlier, economic costs include both explicit and implicit costs to form all-inclusive opportunity costs. Therefore, it’s important to also distinguish between accounting profit and economic profit. Accounting profit is what most people probably envision what they think about profit. Accounting profit is simply dollars in minus dollars out, or total revenue minus total explicit cost. Economic profit, on the other hand, is equal to total revenue minus total economic cost, which is the sum of explicit and implicit costs. Because economic costs are at least as big as explicit costs (strictly larger, in fact, unless implicit costs are zero), economic profits are less than or equal to accounting profits and are strictly less than accounting profits as long as implicit costs are greater than zero. To further illustrate the concept of accounting profit versus economic profit, let’s consider a simple example. Let’s say you have a business that brings in $100,000 in revenue and costs $40,000 to run. Furthermore, let’s assume that you gave up a $50,000 per year job to run this business. Your accounting profit would be $60,000 in this case since that is the difference between your operating revenue and operating cost. Your economic profit, on the other hand, is $10,000 because it factors in the opportunity cost of the $50,000 per year job that you had to give up. Economic profit has an interesting interpretation in that it represents the “extra” profit compared to the next best alternative. In this example, you are $10,000 better off by running the business because you get to make $60,000 in accounting profit rather than make $50,000 at a job.
On the other hand, economic profit can be negative even when accounting profit is positive. Consider the same setup as before, but this time let’s assume that you had to give up a $70,000 per year job rather than a $50,000 per year job in order to run the business. Your accounting profit is still $60,000, but now your economic profit is -$10,000. A negative economic profit implies that you could be doing better by pursuing an alternative opportunity. In this case, the -$10,000 represents that you are $10,000 worse off by running the business and making $60,000 than you would be by taking the $70,000 per year job.