This Site Requires Javascript
Burger Menu

Learning Curve

Learning Curve

What is the 'Learning Curve'

A learning curve is a concept that graphically depicts the relationship between cost and output over a defined period of time, normally to represent the repetitive task of an employee or worker. The learning curve was first described by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 and is used as a way to measure production efficiency and to forecast costs. In the visual representation of a learning curve, a steeper slope indicates initial learning translates into higher cost savings, and subsequent learnings result in increasingly slower, more difficult cost savings.

Explaining 'Learning Curve'

The learning curve is also referred to as the experience curve, the cost curve, the efficiency curve or the productivity curve. This is because the learning curve provides measurement and insight into all of the above aspects of a company. The idea is any employee, regardless of position, takes time to learn how to carry out a specific task or duty. The amount of time needed to produce the associated output is high. Then, as the task is repeated, the employee learns how to complete it quickly and reduces the amount of time needed for a unit of output.

Benefits of Using the Learning Curve

The learning curve does a good job of depicting the cost per unit of output over time. Companies know how much an employee earns per hour and can derive the cost of producing a single unit of output based on the amount of hours needed. A well-placed employee who is set up for success should decrease the company's costs per unit of output over time. Businesses can use the learning curve to conduct production planning, cost forecasting and logistic schedules.


Further Reading

The learning curve and optimal production under uncertaintyThe learning curve and optimal production under uncertainty
www.nber.org [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

A learning curve of the market: Chasing alpha of socially responsible firmsA learning curve of the market: Chasing alpha of socially responsible firms
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

Using linear model for learning curve effect on highrise floor constructionUsing linear model for learning curve effect on highrise floor construction
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

The economics of risk, uncertainty and learning in the adoption of new agricultural technologies: where are we on the learning curve?The economics of risk, uncertainty and learning in the adoption of new agricultural technologies: where are we on the learning curve?
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

Defining the learning curve for paramedic student endotracheal intubationDefining the learning curve for paramedic student endotracheal intubation
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

A Model of Long-term Quality Cost Based on Learning Curve Effect [J]A Model of Long-term Quality Cost Based on Learning Curve Effect [J]
en.cnki.com.cn [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

Using the learning curve to maximize IT productivity: A decision analysis model for timing software upgradesUsing the learning curve to maximize IT productivity: A decision analysis model for timing software upgrades
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

Revisiting the applicability of learning curve theory to formwork labour productivityRevisiting the applicability of learning curve theory to formwork labour productivity
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …

Climbing up the pay-for-performance learning curve: where are the early adopters now?Climbing up the pay-for-performance learning curve: where are the early adopters now?
www.healthaffairs.org [PDF]
… of the NBER's research program in Financial Markets and Monetary Economics. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not those of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Page 2. NBER Working Paper #2423 October 1987 The Learning Curve and Optimal …


Tags

learning, curve, economics, finance, production, business, learn, demand, experience, economies, cost, time, scale, concept, effect, market, acellus, managerial, unit, curves, paper, making, output, important, increases, rate, efficiency, domain, understanding, financial, machine, costs, money, energy, competitive, amount, global, supply, term, concepts, productivity, education, macroeconomics, phenomenon, competition, articles, working, units, group, cumulative
Section 508

WCAG 2.0

Section 508