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Environmental efficiency indices: towards a new approach to green-growth accounting

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  • Peroni, Chiara

Abstract

This article analyses the link between environmental and productive efficiency in a group of EU member states and the US using data from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its main indicator, carbon intensity, is defined as the ratio of total greenhouse gases emissions to output. A non-parametric frontier approach enables modelling a multiple output technology in which greenhouse gas emissions are an undesirable outcome of a production process. A DEA method is used to compute environmental efficiency indices, which grade countries according to their ability to increase production while reducing pollutants, under minimal assumptions. The only assumptions are that bad outputs are costly to dispose of and that returns to scale are variable. The study shows that productive efficiency is considerably lowered when environmental degradation are taken into account. Only two (Luxembourg and Sweden) out of 16 countries are environmentally efficient. Malmquist indices, however, show that environmental performances improved over the period considered in nearly all countries. A decomposition of carbon intensity, which links emission performance to technical progress, is also presented; this highlights the positive contribution of labour productivity on the reduction in carbon intensity. Finally, no evidence of a DEA-based environmental Kuznet curve is found.

Suggested Citation

  • Peroni, Chiara, 2012. "Environmental efficiency indices: towards a new approach to green-growth accounting," MPRA Paper 38671, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Apr 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38671
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38671/1/MPRA_paper_38671.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, September.
    2. Ang, B. W., 1999. "Is the energy intensity a less useful indicator than the carbon factor in the study of climate change?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(15), pages 943-946, December.
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    4. Zhou, P. & Ang, B.W. & Han, J.Y., 2010. "Total factor carbon emission performance: A Malmquist index analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 194-201, January.
    5. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
    6. Osman Zaim & Fatma Taskin, 2000. "A Kuznets Curve in Environmental Efficiency: An Application on OECD Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 21-36, September.
    7. Subodh Kumar & R. Robert Russell, 2002. "Technological Change, Technological Catch-up, and Capital Deepening: Relative Contributions to Growth and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 527-548, June.
    8. Hua, Zhongsheng & Bian, Yiwen & Liang, Liang, 2007. "Eco-efficiency analysis of paper mills along the Huai River: An extended DEA approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 578-587, October.
    9. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cicea, Claudiu & Marinescu, Corina & Popa, Ion & Dobrin, Cosmin, 2014. "Environmental efficiency of investments in renewable energy: Comparative analysis at macroeconomic level," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 555-564.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbon intensity; data envelopment analysis; Malmquist index; decomposition; Kuznet curve;

    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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