On the origins of data envelopment analysis
The concept “Data Envelopment Analysis” (DEA) was introduced in the journal literature by the highly influential 1978 paper of Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes. In the subsequent literature the development of research leading up to this paper tended to be forgotten. However, studying this diffusion of ideas may give valuable insights into research issues still unexplored and insight in the research process itself. A natural starting point is Farrell's seminal 1957 paper on concepts of efficiency and their computation. The richness of ideas presented in Farrell is demonstrated by the fact that the developments in the following two decades were based on aspects and ideas there. The origins of the main developments are identified, and the connections to Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes are explored. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002
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