Measuring eco-efficiency in European regions: Evidence from a territorial perspective
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Data envelopment analysis
Eco-efficiency indicators represent a valuable instrument supporting policy decisions geared at sustainability. However, in order to provide effective guidance, eco-efficiency should be assessed considering the heterogeneous territorial settings, and thus the underlying economic structures that regions exhibit. Starting from the most common definition of eco-efficiency as the ratio of economic output to environmental input, this paper aims to investigate regional eco-efficiency patterns in Europe, paying particular attention to territorial heterogeneity. The study relies on the metafrontier Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to (1) assess the comparative evolution of eco-efficiency in 282 European regions between 2006 and 2014, and (2) estimate the technology and conditional efficiency gaps that regions display considering their dominant territorial features (i.e. urban, intermediate and rural). The results show an overall upward trend in eco-efficiency across European regions recorded ...