A robust network DEA model for sustainability assessment: An application to Chinese Provinces

Zhongfei Chen, Stavros Kourtzidis (Lead / Corresponding author), Panayiotis Tzeremes, Nickolaos Tzeremes

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper constructs an Environmental Sustainability index in order to investigate regional efficiency in China between 2000 and 2012. The Environmental Sustainability index consists of a Production Efficiency index and an Eco-efficiency index. A multiplicative relational network data envelopment analysis model is applied, and a window analysis is conducted to capture the efficiency trends over time. The results reveal significant heterogeneity among Chinese provinces for the Environmental Sustainability and the Eco-efficiency indices, while there is a high level of Production Efficiency across all provinces. Furthermore, there are large differences among geographical areas. Specifically, high Production Efficiency levels are reported for the eastern area, whereas, high Ecoefficiency levels are reported for the western area. The reported results provide valuable insights to decision makers, revealing a high potential for improvement in the overall Environmental Sustainability score, especially for the eastern and middle areas. In addition, regional heterogeneity should be taken into account when considering new legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalOperational Research
Early online date12 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2020


  • Chinese provinces
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Network data envelopment analysis
  • Production efficiency


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