Capacity Cost and Capacity Allocation, Contemporary Accounting Research
Issues surrounding the allocation of sunk capacity costs to products are among the oldest in managerial accounting. On the one hand, such costs are generally deemed to be irrelevant, but on the other hand, actual accounting systems commonly make these allocations. This paper examines a decision maker who incurs costs to acquire capacity and then uses an opportunity cost to allocate that capacity among a sequence of product proposals. Under specified circumstances, the sunk cost of capacity is shown to approximate the optimal opportunity cost of capacity. As the number of product proposals grows, the expected opportunity loss from using a simple sunk cost-based capacity allocation rule goes to zero. The model is extended to consider different types of products and a multiperiod setting.
Magee, Robert. 1993. Capacity Cost and Capacity Allocation. Contemporary Accounting Research. 9(2): 635-660.