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Economic Geography and Productive Efficiency of Solid-Waste Logistics in Japan’s Prefectures: Measurements via the Data Envelopment Analysis


  • Daisuke Ichinose

    (Tohoku University of Community Service and Science)

  • Masashi Yamamoto

    (Center for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama)

  • Yuichiro Yoshida

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)


This paper measures the productive efficiency of the municipal-solid-waste (MSW) logistics by applying the data envelopment analysis (DEA) to the cross-sectional data of prefectures in Japan. Either through public operation or by outsourcing private waste-collection operators, prefectural governments possess the fundamental authority of waste-processing operation in Japan. We thus estimate a multi-input-multi-output production efficiency at the prefectural level via DEA, where several different model settings are employed. Our data classify the volume of MSW into household solid waste (HSW) and business solid waste (BSW) collected by both private and public operators as separate outputs, while the numbers of trucks and workers used by private and public operators enter as inputs. Results consistently show that the geographical characteristics such that the number of inhabited remote islands is relatively larger than others is a dominant factor determining the inefficiency. While the implication that in these small islands minimum efficient scale is not achieved is in accord to the literature that waste logistics is increasing-return at the municipal level, our results indicate that the production of waste collection in Japan is well described as CRS technology at the prefectural level. Results also show that the prefectures that are inefficient in MSW logistics have higher spatial correlation with their neighbors both in terms of waste collection efficiency and the volume of illegal dumping of industrial waste.

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  • Daisuke Ichinose & Masashi Yamamoto & Yuichiro Yoshida, 2012. "Economic Geography and Productive Efficiency of Solid-Waste Logistics in Japan’s Prefectures: Measurements via the Data Envelopment Analysis," GRIPS Discussion Papers 11-25, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:11-25

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    1. Tae Hoon Oum & Katsuhiro Yamaguchi & Yuichiro Yoshida, 2011. "Efficiency Measurement Theory and its Application to Airport Benchmarking," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 13 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Ichinose, Daisuke & Yamamoto, Masashi, 2011. "On the relationship between the provision of waste management service and illegal dumping," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 79-93, January.
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