Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 509-520 .doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0943-0

• Human-Environment Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The efficiencies and their changes of China's resources-based cities employing DEA and Malmquist Index Models

SUN Wei1,2, LI Yang1,3, WANG Dai1,2, FAN Jie1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2011-10-10 Revised:2011-11-25 Online:2012-06-15 Published:2012-05-04
  • Contact: Fan Jie (1961-), Professor, E-mail:
  • About author:Sun Wei (1975-), Ph.D and Associate Professor, specialized in sustainable development of resources-based cities and regional planning. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40701044; National Key Technology R&D Program, No.2008BAH31B01


Employing DEA model and Malmquist productivity index, this paper probes into the urban efficiencies of 24 typical resources-based cities in China and their changes from 2000 to 2008. The research finds that the overall efficiencies of the resources-based cities are just at a general level, and only a few of them reach the optimal level. The scale efficiency is the major determining factor of the achievement of overall efficiency, the effect of which, nevertheless, is reducing. From the perspective of classification characteristics, the resources- based cities in northeastern region have been in the front rank in terms of overall efficiency, pure technical efficiency and scale efficiency. There is a certain positive correlation between urban population scale and urban efficiency. The analysis of urban efficiency changes shows that the changes in overall efficiency of resources-based cities from 2000 to 2008 had a weak improving tendency. Both the technical change index and productivity change index decreased, indicating that the urban efficiency did not improve during this period, and the tendency of technical recession and productivity decline was obvious. In terms of the classification of urban efficiency changes, the urban overall efficiency improved in each of the four regions from 2000 to 2008, among which western region witnessed the greatest increase. Cities with different resource types have improved their urban overall efficiencies except steel-based cities. The urban overall efficiency increased in resources-based cities of different scales, with greater improvement in small and medium-sized cities than in big cities.

Key words: resources-based cities, DEA model, Malmquist productivity index, efficiency