The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

User Cost

  • Paul Davidson
Reference work entry


John Maynard Keynes developed the concept of user cost as a significant component of the supply price of any business enterprise. By introducing user cost as an expectational variable, Keynes hoped to bring the existing unrealistic economic theory back ‘to reality’ (Keynes 1936, p. 146). Keynes believed that the concept of user cost had ‘an importance … for the theory of value which has been overlooked’ (ibid., p. 66).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adelman, M.A. 1972. The world petroleum market. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.Google Scholar
  2. Bain, J.S. 1937. Depression pricing and the depreciation function. Quarterly Journal of Economics 51: 705–715.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Davidson, P. 1963. Public problems of the domestic crude oil industry. American Economic Review 53: 85–108.Google Scholar
  4. Davidson, P., et al. 1974. Oil: its time allocation and project independence. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2: 411–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Keynes, J.M. 1930. A treatise on money, vol. 2. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Keynes, J.M. 1936. The general theory of employment, interest and money. New York: Harcourt, Brace.Google Scholar
  7. Marshall, A. 1890. Principles of economics. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Neal, A.C. 1942. Industrial concentration and price inflexibility. Washington, DC: American Council on Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  9. Pigou, A.C. 1933. The theory of unemployment. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Scott, A.D. 1953. Notes on user cost. Economic Journal 63: 368–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Weintraub, S. 1949. Price theory. New York: Pitman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Davidson
    • 1
  1. 1.