Eco-Efficiency and Eco-Productivity Assessments of the States in the United States: A Two-Stage Non-parametric Analysis

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This study implements radial and non-radial Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) models to assess eco-efficiency and eco-productivity of the 50 states in the United States in 2018. The models are based on three inputs (capital stock, employment, and energy consumption), a single desirable output (real gross domestic product) and a single undesirable output variable (CO2 emissions). The radial DEA models reveal that at least 32 states are operated efficiently. Five states perform at the most optimal scale size, whereas 17 states have considerable potential to boost their productive efficiencies by enlarging available resources, and 28 states are overinvested in their input variables given their current output levels. The non-radial DEA models show that, overall, the states’ capital efficiency is very high, whereas energy and emission efficiencies are very low. The states’ eco-productivity is relatively higher than the eco-efficiency levels. In the second stage of the analysis, non-parametric statistical tests and Tobit regressions are conducted for further investigation. According to the non-parametric statistical test, high capital stock, labor force, and energy usage do not affect the states’ productive efficiency. However, states with low carbon dioxide emissions have significantly higher eco-efficiency and eco-productivity levels. The Tobit regression results illustrate that nuclear power and renewable energy consumption significantly affect the states’ relative efficiencies.