Human-Environment Interactions

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

  • 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
Sun Wei (1975-), Ph.D and Associate Professor, specialized in sustainable development of resources-based cities and regional planning. E-mail:

Received date: 2011-10-10

  Revised date: 2011-11-25

  Online published: 2012-05-04

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.

Cite this article

SUN Wei, LI Yang, WANG Dai, FAN Jie . The efficiencies and their changes of China's resources-based cities employing DEA and Malmquist Index Models[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2012 , 22(3) : 509 -520 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-012-0943-0


Cai Zhijian, Zhang Zhiguang, Chen Guoliang, 1998. DEA cluster analysis method for studying the economicscale of the Chinese paper industry. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, 12(1):13-18. (in Chinese)
Charnes Abraham, William Wager Cooper, Susan X Li, 1989. Using data envelopment analysis to evaluate efficiencyin the economic performance of Chinese cities. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, (23): 325-344.
Chen Song, 2000. How to evaluate university-run-school benefit with DEA method. Forecasting, (1): 77-79. (in Chinese)
Dyckhoff H, Allen K, 2001. Measuring ecological efficiency with data envelopment analysis (DEA). European Journal of Operational Research, 132(2): 312-325.
Färe R, Grosskopf S, Linderdgren B et al., 1992. Productivity changes in Swedish pharmacies 1980-1989: Anonparametric Malmquist approach. Journal of Productivity Analysis, (3): 85-101.
Färe R, Grosskopf S, Norris M et al., 1994. Productivity growth, technical progress, and efficiency change inindustrialized countries. American Economic Review, 84(1): 66-83.
Guo Haitao, Yu Linlin, Li Jingtao, 2007. Assessment on efficiency of resources cities with Data Envelopment Analysis. China Mining Magazine, 16(7): 5-9. (in Chinese)
Guo Tengyun, Dong Guanpeng, 2009. Study on the relationships between metropolitan spatial compact ratios andtheir efficiencies in China in 1990 and 2000. Journal of Geo-Information Science, 11(4): 482-490. (in Chinese)
Guo Tengyun, Xu Yong, Wang Zhiqiang, 2009. The analyses of metropolitan efficiencies and their changes in China based on DEA and Malmquist Index models. Acta Geographica Sinica, 64(4): 408-416. (in Chinese)
Hawdon D, 2003. Efficiency, performance and regulation of the international gas industry: A bootstrap DEA approaches. Energy Policy, 31(11): 1167-1178.
Lewis Herbert F, Sexton Thomas R, 2004. Network DEA: Efficiency analysis of organization with complex internalstructure. Computers and Organizations Research, 31(9): 1365-1410.
Li Xun, Xu Xianxiang, Chen Haojie, 2005. Temporal and spatial changes of urban efficiency in the 1990s. Acta Geographica Sinica, 60(4): 615-625. (in Chinese)
Liu Xiang, 2004. A brief analysis on developing scale & efficiency of mining economics. China Mining Magazine,13(9): 72-77. (in Chinese)
Pang Ruizhu, 2006. Dynamic evaluation of main sea ports in mainland China based on DEA model. Economic Research Journal, (6): 92-100. (in Chinese)
Qin Wanshun, Ouyang Jun, 2001. Market structure, efficiency, and performance of China's commercial bank. Economic Science, (4): 34-45. (in Chinese)
Shi Jiang, Wei Quanling, 2004. The application of DEA method in health economics. Mathematics in Practiceand Theory, 34(4): 59-66. (in Chinese)
Wei Quanling, 2004. Data Envelopment Analysis. Beijing: Science Press. (in Chinese)
Wei Quanling, Sun D B, Xiao Zhijie, 1991. DEA method and the measurement of technological progress. Journalof Systems Engineering, 6(2): 1-11. (in Chinese)
Yang Kaizhong, 2002. The analysis about DEA-efficiency of China cities' input-output. Geography and Territorial Research, 18(3): 45-47. (in Chinese)
Zhen Xinqi, Wang Xiaoming, 2004. DEA analysis for the efficiency of land use structure in cities and towns. China Land Science, 18(2): 34-39. (in Chinese)