The common cost is, without doubt, the type of cost that generated the most attention in business economic studies, and which caused constant concern, with no easy solution, to management and controller. Common cost in business economics has been thoroughly analysed, generating fruitful doctrinal discussions.The goal of this work is to study in depth the commonness-of-costs concept from a historical/doctrinal standpoint, by noting the different opinions of some among the scholars of the twentieth century, so as to achieve a suitable definition of common cost.
The research is centred on a period of time which is positioned over two periods 1) the training period and the first affirmation of Business Economics and of the organisation of its various branches of study (1920-1950) and 2) the period of affirmation and consolidation of the Business Economics, its evolution and development, with a widening of the field of investigation and the advent of specialisation (1950 to the present time). The first aspect being addressed is the terminology aspect, a difficult matter in itself. It has been approached in several writings, aimed at offering a suitable explanation of the distinction between common cost and special cost. After a summary comparison between the different definitions offered by several of the past century¿s authors, the analysis focuses on the main critical aspects concerning the attribution of the common cost.