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Environmental Efficiency Measurement and Convergence Analysis of Interprovincial Road Transport in China

Hao Xu (), Yeqing Wang (), Hongwei Liu () and Ronglu Yang ()
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Hao Xu: School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
Yeqing Wang: School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
Hongwei Liu: School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
Ronglu Yang: School of Business, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 11, 1-16

Abstract: Although road transport plays a vital role in promoting the development of China’s national economy, it also produces much harmful output in the process of road transport. Various types of harmful output generate high social costs. In order to improve efficiency and protect the environment at the same time, a variety of undesirable outputs need to be considered when evaluating the environmental efficiency of road transport. In this paper, the performance of the road transport systems in 30 regions of China is evaluated considering multiple harmful outputs (noise, carbon emission, direct property losses), by employing the directional distance function. Further, a convergence analysis of the environmental efficiency of road transport is carried out. The empirical results show that the environmental efficiency of overall road transport in China increased from 0.8851 to 0.9633 from 2010 to 2017. Moreover, the environmental efficiency gaps between the eastern, central and western areas have narrowed over time, but still exist. Additionally, the results of σ convergence analysis show that convergence of environmental efficiency exists in the whole country and the western area, while only weak convergence exists in the eastern and central areas. Both absolute β convergence and conditional β convergence exist in the eastern, central and western areas. While the environmental efficiency improved over the study period, the environmental efficiencies of road transport in some provinces remain inefficient, which deserves more attention from those seeking to improve environmental efficiency. The paper concludes with suggestions for improving the environmental efficiency of road transport.

Keywords: environmental efficiency; road transport; directional distance function; convergence analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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