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Eco-efficiency and convergence in OECD countries

  • Mariam Camarero

    (Dpto. Economía. Universidad Jaume I)

  • Juana Castillo

    (Dpto. Economía Aplicada II. Universidad de Valencia)

  • Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo

    (Dpto. Economía Aplicada II. Universidad de Valencia)

  • Cecilio Tamarit

    (Dpto. Economía Aplicada II. Universidad de Valencia)

This paper assesses the convergence in eco-efficiency of a group of 22 OECD countries over the period 1980-2005. In doing so, three air-pollutants representing the impact on the environment of economic activities are considered, namely, carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulphur oxides (SOX); furthermore, eco-efficiency scores at both country and air-pollutant-specific levels are computed using Data Envelopment Analysis techniques. Then, convergence is evaluated using the recent approach by Phillips and Sul (2007), which allows testing for the existence of convergence groups. First, we find that, with the exception of NOX emissions, eco-efficiency has improved over the period, the greatest progress corresponding to CO2 emissions. Second, Switzerland is the most eco-efficient country, followed by some Scandinavian economies such as Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. In contrast, European Mediterranean countries such as Portugal, Spain and Greece, in addition to Hungary, Turkey, Canada or the US, are among the worst performers. Finally, we find that both the most eco-efficient countries and the worst-performing countries also tend to form clubs of convergence among them.

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Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia in its series Working Papers with number 1116.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1116
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  1. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Chang, Chun-Ping, 2008. "New evidence on the convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions from panel seemingly unrelated regressions augmented Dickey–Fuller tests," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1468-1475.
  2. Allen, R. & Thanassoulis, E., 2004. "Improving envelopment in data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 154(2), pages 363-379, April.
  3. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias, 2004. "Sustainable Value Added--measuring corporate contributions to sustainability beyond eco-efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 173-187, February.
  4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  5. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Chang, Chun-Ping, 2009. "Stochastic convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions and multiple structural breaks in OECD countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1375-1381, November.
  6. Markku Lanne & Matti Liski, 2003. "Trends and Breaks in per-capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 1870-2028," Working Papers 0302, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  7. Jobert, Thomas & Karanfil, Fatih & Tykhonenko, Anna, 2010. "Convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the EU: Legend or reality?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1364-1373, November.
  8. Camarero, Mariam & Picazo-Tadeo, Andrés J. & Tamarit, Cecilio, 2008. "Is the environmental performance of industrialized countries converging? A 'SURE' approach to testing for convergence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 653-661, July.
  9. Antonio Duro, Juan, 2010. "Decomposing international polarization of per capita CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6529-6533, November.
  10. Myriam Nourry, 2009. "Re-Examining the Empirical Evidence for Stochastic Convergence of Two Air Pollutants with a Pair-Wise Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 555-570, December.
  11. Kortelainen, Mika, 2008. "Dynamic environmental performance analysis: A Malmquist index approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 701-715, February.
  12. Wursthorn, Sibylle & Poganietz, Witold-Roger & Schebek, Liselotte, 2011. "Economic-environmental monitoring indicators for European countries: A disaggregated sector-based approach for monitoring eco-efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 487-496, January.
  13. Ekaterini Panopoulou & Theologos Pantelidis, 2009. "Club Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 47-70, September.
  14. Peter C. B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2007. "Transition Modeling and Econometric Convergence Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1771-1855, November.
  15. Zhang, Bing & Bi, Jun & Fan, Ziying & Yuan, Zengwei & Ge, Junjie, 2008. "Eco-efficiency analysis of industrial system in China: A data envelopment analysis approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 306-316, December.
  16. Joakim Westerlund & Syed Basher, 2008. "Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Using a Century of Panel Data," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(1), pages 109-120, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Peter C.B. Phillips & Donggyu Sul, 2005. "Economic Transition and Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1514, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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