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Comprehensive Evaluation of Regional Sustainable Development Based on Data Envelopment Analysis

Zhijiang Li (), Decai Tang (), Mang Han () and Brandon J. Bethel ()
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Zhijiang Li: School of Management Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Decai Tang: Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Mang Han: Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Brandon J. Bethel: School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 11, 1-18

Abstract: In the light of the shortcomings of the analytic hierarchy process and other common regional sustainable development evaluation methods, this paper proposes the use of a combination of subjective and objective weights to generate input/output indicators using the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method. Using this methodology, we construct a comprehensive evaluation index which is useful in expanding the application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in the comprehensive evaluation of sustainable development. Moreover, this paper addresses the shortfalls of the traditional DEA evaluation model and uses the Super-Slack Based Measure (SBM)-Undesirable and DEA-Malmquist evaluation models, which are based on traditional DEA model optimization, to analyze the spatio-temporal characteristics of sustainable development on regional scales. Using China’s Yangzte River Economic Belt as an example, an empirical analysis is carried out. We show that analysis results are virtually identical to the extant situation and can objectively reflect the status and abilities of sustainable development in each subregion. Additionally, from the angles of input, output and technological progress, this paper uses the DEA evaluation method to analyze the reasons behind the slow development in several provinces and municipalities along the Yangzte River Economic Belt (YERB). The regional characteristics of each province and city within our study are combined to explore the optimal mechanisms for sustainable development.

Keywords: comprehensive evaluation index system; DEA evaluation method; comprehensive indices; YERB (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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