I read a study by Modig (2020) on what Swedish economists consider to be the most important economic concepts that ordinary people should acquire and understand. On the top of the list is opportunity cost (see Figure 1 in the paper for an overview of the economic concepts that are important to acquire and understand as a non-economist).
It turns out that several studies within economics find opportunity costs important, as the paper also cites several other studies: “Other researchers have also suggested opportunity cost as a potential economic threshold concept (e.g. Reimann and Jackson 2006; Shanahan, Foster, and Meyer 2006; Shanahan 2016).” In other words, there seems to be an agreement among economists that more people should understand opportunity costs.
This is all fine, and I do agree that knowing and thinking about opportunity costs is important. However, there is one question I am not sure any of the relevant literature deals with. That is, what is the opportunity cost of spending time on understanding opportunity costs? Would ordinary people be better off spending that time on other activities? (Economists, am I doing it right?)