Next Article in Journal
Defining and Quantifying National-Level Targets, Indicators and Benchmarks for Management of Natural Resources to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Previous Article in Journal
An Optimization Approach for the Coordinated Low-Carbon Design of Product Family and Remanufactured Products
Article Menu
Issue 2 (January-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Measuring Environmental Efficiency through the Lens of Technology Heterogeneity: A Comparative Study between China and the G20

1
School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Marxism Studies, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 100083, Beijing, China
3
Waterloo Institute of Sustainable Energy, University ofWaterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020461
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
  |  
PDF [411 KB, uploaded 23 January 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Drawing on a perspective of technology heterogeneity, this study advances the analytical framework for evaluation of environmental efficiency (EE) across diverse economies. To improve the continuity and robustness of efficiency estimation, we construct a Hybrid Malmquist–Luenberger index under the meta-frontier (MHML) technique to allow a dynamic evaluation of environmental efficiency and to probe the underlying sources of inefficiency. Decomposition of the MHML index into component factors of efficiency change (EC), Best Practice Change (BPC) and Technological Gap Change (TPC) allows an improved understanding of causality and enhanced guidance for decision-making units (DMUs). Empirical tests based on panel data of the Group 20 countries spanning 2000–2014 reveal an upward improving trend in environmental efficiency but is also characterized by notable evidence of technological heterogeneity. Whereas technical progress was the main cause of environmental efficiency improvements in the G20 countries, for the BRICS (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), economic growth rates played a more significant in contrast to the role of technical change and allocation efficiency. The lagging growth rates of environmental efficiency for the G20 countries compared to the BRICS is a reflection of the fact that room for optimization in G20 countries was not as high as it was for BRICS and, China, in particular. China has been catching up with frontier technology whereas developing countries were shifting away from benchmark technology frontier. The developed economies remain the best performers and leaders in environmental technology. However, the BRICS countries, represented by China, remain on an upward trajectory of improvements’ in EE with gains from managerial sufficiency and technological advancement. The MHML index developed here provides a robust quantitative measure for policy interventions to support overall national environmental performance. Context-specific suggestions are proposed to foster efficiency gains and green transition for Chinese development scenarios against best performing economies. View Full-Text
Keywords: technology heterogeneity; environmental efficiency; hybrid measure; Group 20 technology heterogeneity; environmental efficiency; hybrid measure; Group 20
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, X.; Zhang, M.; Nathwani, J.; Yang, F. Measuring Environmental Efficiency through the Lens of Technology Heterogeneity: A Comparative Study between China and the G20. Sustainability 2019, 11, 461.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top