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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
271 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)235-262
Number of pages28
JournalOperational Research
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'A robust network DEA model for sustainability assessment: An application to Chinese Provinces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this