Difference between Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

Making decisions is the most important duty in any firm since they may have far-reaching consequences, hence individuals and companies employ different decision making approaches are used to make the process more manageable. Such examples are the marginal analysis and the incremental analysis. However, the two have some key differences despite their close collaboration.

What is Marginal Analysis?

This analysis compares the gains from a certain activity against the costs associated with the same activity. Marginal refers to the additional cost or gain associated with making one more unit of output or employing one more person. Many businesses use this method to see how little adjustments might affect the bottom line. For situations when funds are tight, it might help narrow down a list of potential investments.

What is Incremental Analysis?

For a business, this strategy means computing how much it would really cost to implement certain strategies. When a company's major focus is on opportunity costs and related charges, this issue becomes more important. There is no consideration for sunk expenses in this plan. Decisions on the restoration of assets, the acquisition or creation of goods, and the termination of projects are all grounded in incremental studies.

Similarities − Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

  • Both are essential components in the process of making decisions in a company.

  • Both are factors that go into economic decisions, including income, utility, and cost.

Differences − Marginal Analysis and Incremental Analysis

The following table highlights how Marginal Analysis is different from Incremental Analysis −

Characteristics Marginal Analysis Incremental Analysis


A marginal analysis is a comparison of the benefits gained from an activity to the costs incurred by engaging in the same activity to the same extent.

In business, incremental analysis can be used to determine which option will have the smallest overall financial cost.


When performing a marginal analysis, both revenue and variable costs are considered.

The incremental analysis factors in not just the direct costs but also any associated opportunity costs.


To make the best option between two or more potential investments when resources are limited, the marginal analysis might be applied.

Rebuilding an asset, purchasing or producing things, or abandoning a project are all choices that must be informed by incremental analysis reports. Decisions may be made with the help of incremental analysis.


Where resources are few, the marginal analysis compares the additional benefits of an activity to the increased costs of that activity. Incremental analysis is a method for estimating the real cost of various business options. While both marginal and incremental analyses play a role in business decisions, the marginal analysis compares the extra benefits of an activity against the costs of continuing to engage in that activity.

Updated on: 15-Dec-2022


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