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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122278

Measuring Water Transport Efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Zone, China

1,2
,
1,2,* , 2
and
3,4,5
1
Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
2
School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
3
Division of Business, Hong Kong Community College, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
4
Transport Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V4, Canada
5
School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract

Water transport, a component of integrated transport systems, is a key strategic resource for achieving sustainable economic and social development, particularly in the Yangtze River Economic Zone (YREZ). Unfortunately, systematic studies on water transport efficiency are not forthcoming. Using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Malmquist index as a model framework, this paper measures water transport efficiency in YREZ, conducts spatial analysis to identify the leading factors influencing efficiency, and provides scientific evidence for a macroscopic grasp of water transport development and the optimization of YREZ. The results indicate that water transport technical efficiency (TE) in YREZ is low and in fluctuating decline. Therefore, it has seriously restricted performance and improvements in the service function. Additionally, the spatial pattern of TE has gradually changed from complexity and dispersion to clarity and contiguity with a larger inter-provincial gap. Water transport efficiency has slightly improved through technological change (TECHch), whereas deteriorating pure technical efficiency change (PEch) is the main cause of a TE decrease. According to our findings, decision-makers should consider strengthening intra-port competition and promoting water transport efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: water transport efficiency; DEA and Malmquist index model; the Yangtze River Economic Zone (YREZ); spatial pattern evolution water transport efficiency; DEA and Malmquist index model; the Yangtze River Economic Zone (YREZ); spatial pattern evolution
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He, D.; Gao, P.; Sun, Z.; Lau, Y.-Y. Measuring Water Transport Efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Zone, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2278.

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