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Eco-efficiency in China’s Loess Plateau Region and its influencing factors: a data envelopment analysis from both static and dynamic perspectives

Yifang Sun,

Abstract: China’s Loess Plateau Region (LPR) plays a significant role in national ecological security and development. Due to the advantage that relates environment with economy, eco-efficiency has become an important indicator of sustainable analysis. Using cross-level panel data for the period 2006–2017, this paper studied LPR’s static eco-efficiency and dynamic performance through a combined application of DEA super-efficient slack-based measure and Malmquist Productivity Index at multi-scales. LPR’s eco-efficiency was found to experience a slight increase during the study period. The value decreased roughly from east to west, with high eco-efficiency mainly distributed in provincial cities and resource-based cities. The decomposition of the Malmquist Index indicated that technological change contributed most to the improvement of eco-efficiency in the LPR. Besides, this paper explained the variations of eco-efficiency based on the integrated input-output indicators and TOBIT regression model. Economic scale, population density, government regulation, technical innovation, and openness degree were identified as positive influencing factors, while the structure of the industry and land-use intensity were found to have negative impacts on eco-efficiency. Resource-based cities were found to have stronger potentials for eco-efficiency improvement than non-resource-based cities. This paper revealed the characteristics of LPR’s eco-efficiency from three perspectives: a spatiotemporal perspective, a macro-meso-micro perspective, and a static-dynamic perspective. The findings of this study hold important implications for policy makers.
Keywords: Loess Plateau Region / Eco-efficiency / Super-efficient SBM-Malmquist-Tobit model / Multi-scale / Spatial-temporal analysis

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