Innovation and environmental performance: An empirical study of 31 cities in China

Document Type : Article


1 School of Business, Sichuan University, Wangjiang Road No. 29, Chengdu, 610064, China, P.R.

2 Department of Economics, Soochow University, 56, Kueiyang St., Sec. 1, Taipei 100, Taiwan, R.O.C.


After its rapid economic growth, China is facing a very serious problem of atmospheric pollution with major long-term atmospheric problems appearing in large cities. Air pollution not only affects people’s normal lives, but also has a greater negative impact on their bodies, causing diseases, impacting productivity, and influencing people’s creativity. Due to past articles, the discussion on the efficiency of innovation and research has not been considered the impact of environmental variables. This study combines energy consumption, economics, environmental variables and innovative research and development capabilities to analyze and explore the relationship between consumption, environment, economy, and innovative R&D capabilities, this is the feature of this article.
This study employ the Dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to calculate energy consumption efficiency, R&D input efficiency, innovation patent output efficiency, carbon dioxide emission efficiency, and AQI efficiency of each city and further compare each city to find their space for improvement.
The results of the study show that 10 cities have a total efficiency score of 1, implying the improvement space is already 0, whereas the total efficiency scores of the other 21 cities mean there is still much room for improvement, and there are big differences among the cities.


Main Subjects

1. Hu, J.L. andWang, S.C. Total factor energy eciency
of regions in China", Energy Policy, 34(17), pp. 3206{
3217 (2006).
2. Kumar, S. Environmentally sensitive productivity
growth: A global analysis using Malmquist-Luenberger
index", Ecological Economics, 56, pp. 280{293 (2006).
3. Gomes, E.G. and Lins, M.P.E. Modeling undesirable
outputs with zero sum gains data envelopment analysis
models", Journal of the Operational Research Society,
59, pp. 616{623 (2007).
4. Zhou, P., Ang, B.W., and Poh, K.L. Measuring environmental
performance under di erent environmental
DEA technologies", Energy Economics, 30(1), pp. 1{
14 (2008).
5. Yeh, T.-l., Chen, T.-y., and Lai, P.-y. A comparative
study of energy utilization eciency between Taiwan
and China", Energy Policy, 38, pp. 2386{2394 (2010).
6. Zhang, X.P., Cheng, X.M., Yuan, J.H., and Gao,
X.J. Total-factor energy eciency in developing countries",
Energy Policy, 39, pp. 644{650 (2011).
7. Choi, Y., Zhang, N., and Zhou, P. Eciency and
abatement costs of energy-related CO2 emissions in
China: A slacks-based eciency measure", Applied
Energy, 98, pp. 198{208 (2012).
8. Wang, K., Wei, Y.-M., and Zhang, X. Energy and
emissions eciency patterns of Chinese regions: A
multi-directional eciency analysis", Applied Energy,
104, pp. 105{116 (2013).
9. Lin, B. and Yang, L. Eciency e ect of changing
investment structure on China's power industry", Renewable
and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 39, pp. 403{
411 (2014).
10. Zhou, C., Chung, W., and Zhang, Y. Measuring
energy eciency performance of China's transport
sector: A data envelopment analysis approach", Expert
System with Application, 41(2), pp. 709{722 (2014).
11. Pan, X., Liu. Q., and Peng, X. Spatial club convergence
of regional energy eciency in China", Ecological
Indicators, 51, pp. 25{30 (2015).
12. Wang, Z. and Feng, C. A performance evaluation of
the energy, environmental, and economic eciency and
productivity in China: an application of global data
envelopment analysis", Applied. Energy, 147, pp. 617{
626 (2015).
13. Wu, J., Lin, L., Sun, J., and Ji, X. A comprehensive
analysis of China's regional energy saving and emission
reduction eciency : from production and treatment
perspectives", Energy Policy, 84, pp. 166{178 (2015).
14. Liou, J.-L., Chiu, C.-R., Huang, F.-M., and Liu, W.-
Y. Analyzing the relationship between CO2 emission
and economic eciency by a relaxed two-stage DEA
model", Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 15, pp.
694{701 (2015).
15. Meng, F., Su, B., Thomson, E., Zhou, D., and Zhou,
P. Measuring China's regional energy and carbon
emission eciency with DEA models: A survey",
Applied Energy, 183, pp. 1{21 (2016).
16. Wang, Q., Chiu, Y.H., and Chiu, C.R. Non-radial
metafrontier approach to identify Carbon Emission
Performance and intensity", Renewable and Sustainable
Energy Reviews, 69, pp. 664{672 (2017).
968 Y. Li et al./Scientia Iranica, Transactions E: Industrial Engineering 27 (2020) 956{969
17. Du, K., Xie, Ch., and Ouyang, X. A comparison of
carbon dioxide (CO2) emission trends among provinces
in China", Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,
73, pp. 19{35 (2017).
18. Feng, Ch., Zhang, H., and Huang, J.-B. The approach
to realizing the potential of emissions reduction in
China: An implication from data envelopment analysis",
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 71,
pp. 859{872 (2017).
19. Vardanyan, M. and Noh, D. Approximating pollution
abatement costs via alternative speci cations of a
multi-output production technology: a case of the US
electric utility industry", Journal of Environmental
Management, 80, pp. 177{190 (2006).
20. Rao, X., Wu, J., and Zhang, Z. Energy eciency
and energy saving potential in China: an analysis
based on slacks-based measure model", Computers and
Industrial Engineering, 63(3), pp. 578{584 (2012).
21. Long, X., Oh, K., and Cheng, G. Are stronger
environmental regulations e ective in practice? The
case of China's accession to the WTO", Journal of
Cleaner Production, 39, pp. 161{167 (2013).
22. Bi, G.B., Song, W., and Zhou, P. Does environmental
regulation a ect energy eciency in China's thermal
power generation? Empirical evidence from a slacksbased
DEA model", Energy Policy, 66, pp. 537{546
23. Bian, Y., Liang, N., and Xu, H. Eciency evaluation
of Chinese regional industrial systems with undesirable
factors using a two-stage slacks-based measure
approach", Journal of Cleaner Production, 87, pp.
348{356 (2015).
24. Wang, Q., Hang, Y., Sun, L., and Zhao, Z. Twostage
innovation eciency of new energy enterprises
in China: A non-radial DEA approach", Technological
Forecasting and Social Change, 112, pp. 254{261
25. Li, H., You, Sh., Zhang, H., Zhang, W., Zheng, X.,
Jia, J., Ye, T., and Zou, L. Modelling of AQI related
to building space heating energy demand based on
big data analytics", Applied Energy, 203, pp. 57{71
26. Li, H., You, Sh., Zhang, H., Zhang, W., and Zou,
L. Investigating the environmental quality deterioration
and human health hazard caused by heating
emissions", Science of the Total Environment, 629, pp.
1209{1222 (2018).
27. Xu, X., Gonzalez, J.E., Shen, Sh., Miao, Sh., and
Dou, J. Impacts of urbanization and air pollution on
building energy demands - Beijing case study", Applied
Energy, 225, pp. 98{105 (2018).
28. Tong, Zh., Chen, Y., Malkawi, A., Liu, Zh., and
Freeman, R.B. Energy saving potential of natural
ventilation in China: The impact of ambient air
pollution", Applied Energy, 179, pp. 660{668 (2016).
29. Bidokhti, A.A., Shariepourb , Z., and Sehatkashanic,
S. Some resilient aspects of urban areas to air pollution
and climate change, case study: Tehran, Iran",
Scientia Iranica, Transactions A, Civil Engineering,
23(5), 1994{2004 (2016).
30. Ahmadzadehtalatapeh, M. Solar assisted desiccant
evaporative cooling system for oce buildings in Iran:
An annual simulation model", Scientia Iranica, Transactions
B, Mechanical Engineering, 25(1), pp. 280{298
31. Liao, Zh., Gao, M., Sun, J., and Fan S, The impact
of synoptic circulation on air quality and pollutionrelated
human health in the Yangtze River Delta
region", Science of the Total Environment, 608, pp.
838{846 (2017).
32. Li, H., You, Sh., Zhang, H., Zhang, W., Lee, W.-L.,
Ye, T., and Zou, L. Analyzing the impact of heating
emissions on air quality index based on principal
component regression", Journal of Cleaner Production,
171(10), pp. 1577{1592 (2018).
33. Khreis, H., Hooghf,, and Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J.
Full-chain health impact assessment of trac-related
air pollution and childhood asthma", Environment
International, 114, pp. 365{375 (2018).
34. Maji, K., Dikshit, A.K., Arora, M., and Deshpande,
A. Estimating premature mortality attributable to
PM2.5 exposure and bene t of air pollution control
policies in China for 2020", Science of the Total
Environment, 612, pp. 683{693 (2018).
35. Laitinen, E.K. A dynamic performance measurement
system: evidence from small Finnish technology companies",
Scandinavian Journal of Management, 18, pp.
65{99 (2002).
36. Urpelainen, J. Export orientation and domestic electricity
generation: E ects on energy eciency innovation
in select sectors", Energy Policy, 39(9), pp. 5638{
5646 (2011).
37. Bai, J. and Li, J. Regional innovation eciency in
China: The role of local government", Innovation:
Management, Policy & Practice, 13(2), pp. 142{153
38. Chen, K. and Guan, J. Two-stage innovation e-
ciency of new energy enterprises in China: A nonradial
DEA approach", Regional Studies, 46, pp. 341{
355 (2012).
39. Bai, J. On regional innovation eciency: Evidence
from panel data of China's di erent provinces", Cambridge,
47(5), pp. 773{776 (2013).
40. Moon, H.S. The relative eciency analysis of innovation
activities with uncertainty: The case of
Korean electronic equipment industry", Innovation:
Management, Policy & Practice, 15(3), pp. 305{314
41. Chen, J. and Meng, L. Research on technological innovation
eciency of China's high-tech industry based
on network SBM model and DEA window analysis",
Proceedings of 2013 4th International Asia Conference
on Industrial Engineering and Management Innovation
(IEMI2013), Springer Berlin Heidelberg (2014).
Y. Li et al./Scientia Iranica, Transactions E: Industrial Engineering 27 (2020) 956{969 969
42. Chen, K. and Kou, M. State of an innovation system:
theoretical and empirical advance towards an innovation
eciency index", The Annals of Regional Science,
52(2), pp. 627{657 (2014).
43. Suh, Y. and Kim, M.S. State of an innovation
system: Theoretical and empirical advance towards
an innovation eciency index", International Journal
of Services Technology and Management, 20(4{6), pp.
267{289 (2015).
44. Wan, L., Luo, B., Li, T., Wang, Sh., and Liang, L.
E ects of technological innovation on eco-eciency
of industrial enterprises in China", Nankai Business
Review International, 6(3), pp. 226{239 (2015).
45. Kou, M., Chen, K., and Wang, S. Measuring ef-
ciencies of multi-period and multi-division systems
associated with DEA: An application to OECD countries'
national innovation systems", Expert Systems
with Applications, 46, pp. 494{510 (2016).
46. Huang, D., Lu, D., and Luo, J.H. Corporate innovation
and innovation eciency: does religion matter?",
Nankai Business Review International, 7(2), pp. 150{
191 (2016).
47. Greco, M., Grimaldi, M., and Cricelli, L. Hitting the
nail on the head: Exploring the relationship between
public subsidies and open innovation eciency", Technological
Forecasting and Social Change, 118, pp. 213{
225 (2017).
48. Chen, W. and Lei, Y. The impacts of renewable
energy and technological innovation on environmentenergy-
growth nexus: New evidence from a panel
quantile regression", Renewable Energy, 123, pp. 1{
14 (2018).
49. Tone, K. Resampling in DEA", GRIPS Discussion
Paper, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies,
pp. 13{23 (2013).
50. Tone, K. and Tsutsui, M. Dynamic DEA: A slacksbased
measure approach", Omega, 38, pp. 145{156
51. Simar, L. and Wilson, P.W. Sensitivity analysis of
eciency scores: How to bootstrap in nonparametric
frontier models", Management Science, 44(1), pp. 49{
61 (1998).
52. Simar, L. and Wilson, P.W. A General methodology
for bootstrapping in non-parametric frontier models",
Journal of Applied Statistics, 27(6), pp. 779{802
53. Tziogkidis, P. Bootstrap DEA and hypothesis
testing", Cardi Economics Working Papers, No.
E2012/18 (2012).
54. Charnes, A., Cooper, W.W., and Rhodes, E. Measuring
the eciency of decision making units", European
Journal of Operational Research, 2(6), pp. 429{444
55. Banker, R.D., Charnes, A., and Cooper, W.W. Some
models for estimating technical and scale ineciencies
in data envelopment analysis", Management Science,
30(9), pp. 1078{1092 (1984).
56. Tone, K. A slacks-based measure of eciency in data
envelopment analysis", European Journal of Operational
Research, 130, pp. 498{509 (2001).