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Returns to scale vs. damages to scale in data envelopment analysis: An impact of U.S. clean air act on coal-fired power plants

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  • Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki
  • Goto, Mika
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    Abstract

    This study proposes a use of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to measure Returns to Scale (RTS) of US coal-fired power plants. The power plants produce not only desirable outputs (e.g., electricity) but also undesirable outputs (e.g., CO2 and NOx) as a result of their plant operations. Therefore, the proposed use of DEA also measures a new concept, or “DTS: Damages to Scale” (corresponding to RTS for undesirable outputs). Both scale measures discussed in this study are a quick-and-easy approach for assessing RTS and DTS, but not an exact method, because it does not consider a direct linkage between the two measures. This study applies the proposed approach to examine the legal validity of U.S. Clean Air Act (CAA). We find that the CAA has been legally effective and influential on the operation of coal-fired power plants in the United States because their plant operations belong to increasing RTS on a desirable output and increasing DTS on three undesirable outputs. The increasing DTS indicates a need for managerial improvement and/or engineering innovation such as advanced clean coal technology. This empirical result implies that U.S. federal and state governments need to expand the legal scope of CAA to the emission control of CO2 because the current CAA excludes the regulation on CO2 emission that is now considered as a main source of the global warming and climate change.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 164-175

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:164-175

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    Related research

    Keywords: Environmental protection; Data envelopment analysis; Electricity;

    References

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    1. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Sekitani, Kazuyuki, 2009. "An occurrence of multiple projections in DEA-based measurement of technical efficiency: Theoretical comparison among DEA models from desirable properties," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(2), pages 764-794, July.
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    21. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika, 2011. "Methodological comparison between two unified (operational and environmental) efficiency measurements for environmental assessment," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 684-693, May.
    22. Zhou, P. & Ang, B.W. & Poh, K.L., 2008. "A survey of data envelopment analysis in energy and environmental studies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 189(1), pages 1-18, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika, 2013. "A comparative study among fossil fuel power plants in PJM and California ISO by DEA environmental assessment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 130-145.
    2. Liu, John S. & Lu, Louis Y.Y. & Lu, Wen-Min & Lin, Bruce J.Y., 2013. "A survey of DEA applications," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 893-902.
    3. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika, 2012. "Returns to scale and damages to scale on U.S. fossil fuel power plants: Radial and non-radial approaches for DEA environmental assessment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2240-2259.
    4. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika, 2014. "DEA radial measurement for environmental assessment: A comparative study between Japanese chemical and pharmaceutical firms," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 502-513.
    5. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika & Sugiyama, Manabu, 2013. "DEA window analysis for environmental assessment in a dynamic time shift: Performance assessment of U.S. coal-fired power plants," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 845-857.
    6. Sueyoshi, Toshiyuki & Goto, Mika, 2013. "DEA environmental assessment in a time horizon: Malmquist index on fuel mix, electricity and CO2 of industrial nations," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 370-382.

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