GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 326-336.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020170979

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Spatio-temporal analysis of provincial input-output efficiency in China

Zhouying SONG1,2(), Lei KANG1(), Yi LIU1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-11-01 Revised:2018-09-28 Online:2019-02-20 Published:2019-02-20


With rapid economic growth, the problem of resources depletion and environmental pollution has become increasingly prominent in China. According to the CO2 emission reduction target, by 2020 the amount of CO2 emission per output unit (GDP) will drop by 40%-45% compared to 2005, and China is facing a severe challenge in national sustainable development. It is against such background that this paper will make a comprehensive examination of regional input and output efficiency, aiming to discover a green and compatible way. From the perspective of the integrated view of factor input and economic-environmental output, this paper establishes provincial input and output efficiency indicator system, and then measures the changing trend and spatial differences of provincial input and output efficiency in China comprehensively, using CCR model and super-CCR mode. The major findings were summarized as follows. First, the input and output efficiency in China is rising, although there are fluctuations; especially after 2010, the efficiency in China has increased significantly, due to the government's efforts of development of green economy. In 2015, the input and output efficiency in China is 1.667, compared to 1.354 in 1995. Second, in 2015, provincial efficiency decreases gradually from eastern to central and western region, from north to south; while the provincial differences have been more significiant, compared to 1995. Third, the input and output efficiency of eastern region is higher than that of other regions, due to obvious location advantages, large economic volume and relatively high resource allocation efficiency. And the efficiency of Beijing, Tianjin and Guangdong has been increasing in the last two decades. The input and output efficiency in the western and northeastern regions are much lower, while Heilongjiang's efficiency has been decreasing since 1995. The input and output efficiency in central region with heavy industrial structure is at the middle level. Among the provinces, Shanxi, Anhui and Hubei have decreased the efficiency, while Henan has increased significantly after financial crisis. There exist clear differences of input and output efficiency in the western region, where the efficiency of most provinces is lower due to the weakness of natural background, too large proportion of energy and raw materials industry. But the efficiency of Qinghai is always the forfront, while that of southwest provinces has an obvious decreasing trend.

Key words: input and output efficiency, DEA model, spatio-temporal pattern, province, China