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Evaluation of ecological systems and the recycling of undesirable outputs: An efficiency study of regions in China

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  • Li, Wanghong
  • Li, Zhepeng
  • Liang, Liang
  • Cook, Wade D.

Abstract

A balance between environmental regulation and economic prosperity has become a major issue of concern to attain a sustainable society in China. This study proposes the application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for measuring the efficiencies of the ecological systems in various regions of that country. The proposed approach differs from most of the previous ecological systems models in that we view it in a two stage setting; the first stage models the ecological system itself, and from an economic perspective, while the second stage (decontamination system) models water recycling as a feedback process, and the treatment of other undesirable outputs coming from the first stage. There, we separate polluting gases and water into two parts; one part is treated, while the other is discharged. The model considers two major desirable outputs from the first stage, namely Population and Gross Region Product by expenditure (GRP), as well as undesirable variables in the form of consumed water, and certain pollutants, namely nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and soot. At the same time, these undesirable outputs from the first stage are inputs to the second decontamination stage. As well, recycled water is fed back into stage 1. Thus, intermediate variables such as consumed water and waste gas emission simultaneously play dual roles of both outputs and inputs in the ecological system.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Wanghong & Li, Zhepeng & Liang, Liang & Cook, Wade D., 2017. "Evaluation of ecological systems and the recycling of undesirable outputs: An efficiency study of regions in China," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 77-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:77-86
    DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2017.03.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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