The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of pollution control on industrial production efficiency in 31 provinces and cities in the Yellow River and Non-Yellow River basins in China from 2013 to 2017, using the methods of the directional distance function (hereinafter referred to as DDF) and the technology gap ratio (hereinafter referred to as TGR) in parallel, while taking the industrial production sector (labor force, total capital formation, energy consumption and industrial water consumption) and the pollution control sector (wastewater treatment funds and waste gas treatment funds) as input variables. Undesirable outputs (total wastewater discharge, lead, SO2
and smoke and dust in wastewater) and an ideal output variable (industrial output value) are taken as output variables. It is found that the total efficiency of DDF in the Non-Yellow River Basin is 0.9793, which is slightly better than 0.9688 in the Yellow River Basin. Among the 17 provinces and cities with a total efficiency of 1, only Shandong and Sichuan are located in the Yellow River Basin. The TGR values of 31 provinces, cities and administrative regions are less than 1, and the average TGR value of the Yellow River Basin is 0.3825, which is lower than the average TGR value of the Non-Yellow River Basin of 0.5234. We can start by improving the allocation of manpower and capital, implementing the use of pollution prevention and control funds, improving the technical level of industrial production, improving pollutant emission, and increasing output value to improve overall efficiency performance. This study uses the parallel method, taking the industrial production department and the pollution control department as inputs, to objectively evaluate the changes in industrial production efficiency and technology gap in the Yellow River and Non-Yellow River basins, which is conducive to mastering the situation of pollution control and industrial production efficiency, and provides the reference for SDG-6- and SDG-9-related policy making.
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