An Empirical Study of the Relationship between Agriculture Environmental Efficiency and Economic Growth


According to environmental Kuznets hypothesis, inverted “U” relationship exists between environmental quality and economic development. Along with economic growth, environmental quality will be presented a trend that first gets worsening and then gets improved [1]. The agricultural environment efficiency will be presented a trend that first decreases and then increases along with agricultural nonpoint source pollution changes at different stages of economic development [2]. In order to verify whether such relationship exists in various provinces of China’s agricultural production, this paper is based on accounting for agriculture pollution emissions per province of China, and calculates the agriculture environmental efficiency in various provinces of China of 20 years in 1992-2011 based on SBM model. On this basis, further study on the relationship between the agriculture environmental efficiency and economic growth has been done. The result shows that causal relationship exists between agriculture environmental efficiency and China’s economic growth, and the curve between agriculture environmental efficiency and economic growth is showing “U” shape, indirectly verified the EKC hypothesis.

Share and Cite:

Wei, X. , Peng, J. and Cao, L. (2014) An Empirical Study of the Relationship between Agriculture Environmental Efficiency and Economic Growth. Modern Economy, 5, 598-608. doi: 10.4236/me.2014.55056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] (2010) Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution: Watershed Management and Hydrology. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
[2] Gomes, E.G. and Estellita, L.M.P. (2008) Modelling Undesirable Outputs with Zero Sum Gains Data Envelopment Analysis Models. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 59, 616-623.
[3] Ongley, E.D., Zhang, X.L. and Yu, T. (2010) Current Status of Agricultural and Rural Non-Point Source Pollution Assessment in China. Environmental Pollution, 158, 1159-1168.
[4] Yang, J., Shao, H.H. and Hu, J. (2010) Empirical Research for China Environmental Efficiency Evaluation and Factors. China Population, Resources and Environment, 20, 49-55.
[5] Su, Y. (2005) Environmental Pollution Issues in Rural Modernization. Frontier Report, 24, 33-35.
[6] Luo, Y. (2012) Study on Index Selection and Environmental Efficiency Evaluation Based on DEA Method. China University of Science & Technology, Hefei.
[7] Bryan, B.A. and Kandulu, J.M. (2011) Designing a Policy Mix and Sequence for Mitigating Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution in a Water Supply Catchment. Water Resources Management, 25, 875-892.
[8] Reinhard, S., Knox Lovell, C.A. and Thijssen, G.J. (2000) Environmental Efficiency with Multiple Environmentally Detrimental Variables; Estimated with SFA and DEA. European Journal of Operational Research, 121, 287-303.
[9] Coelli, T., Lauwers, L. and Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2007) Environmental Efficiency Measurement and the Materials Balance Condition. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 28, 3-12.
[10] Marconi, D. (2010) Trade, Technical Progress and the Environment: The Role of a Unilateral Green Tax on Consumption. Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 744.
[11] Sueyoshi, T. and Goto, M. (2013) Returns to Scale vs. Damages to Scale in Data Envelopment Analysis: An Impact of US Clean Air Act on Coal-Fired Power Plants. Omega, 41, 164-175.
[12] Dios-Palomares, R. and Martínez-Paz, J.M. (2011) Technical, Quality and Environmental Efficiency of the Olive Oil Industry. Food Policy, 36, 526-534.
[13] Li, J. (2008) Environmental Efficiency Evaluation on the Basis of SBM Model. Journal of Hefei University of Technology (Natural Science Edition), 5.
[14] Wang, J.N., Xu, Z.C., Hu, X.B., et al. (2010) The China Regional Environmental Efficiency Analysis Based on DEA Theory. China Environmental Science, 4, 565-570.
[15] Liu, Y., Li, Z.X. and Li, J. (2010) Comparative Study on Environmental Efficiency Evaluation Method. Practice and Knowledge of Mathematics, 1.
[16] Song, M.L., Wang, S.H., Ru, H.P. and Wang, G. (2010) Statistical Analysis on the FDI Green Innovation Ability Based on Provincial Panel Data. China Soft Science, 5, 143-151.
[17] Wang, B., Wu, Y.R. and Yan, P.F. (2010) China Regional Environmental Efficiency and Environmental Total Factor Productivity Growth. Economic Research, 5, 95-109.
[18] Liu, R.J. and Zhang, Z.H. (2012) China’s Industrial Economy—Environmental Efficiency Evaluation Based on WTPDEA Method. China Population, Resources and Environment, 2, 22.
[19] Hu, D.S. and Li, Y. (2012) Regional Differences of Environmental Efficiency Evaluation and Its Influencing Factors. Financial Sciences, 4.
[20] Song, M.L. and Wang, S.H. (2013) Environmental Regulation, Technological Progress and Economic Growth. Economic Study, 3, 122-134.
[21] Zhou, W.Q. and Nie, M. (2013) Study on China Provincial Industrial Technical Efficiency of Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction. China Population, Resources and Environment, 23.
[22] Fare, R., Grosskopf, S. and Pasurka Jr., C.A. (2007) Pollution Abatement Activities and Traditional Productivity. Ecological Economics, 62, 673-682.
[23] Fare, R., Grosskopf, S., Lundgren, T., et al. (2012) Pollution Generating Technologies and Environmental Efficiency.
[24] Liu, P.F., et al. (2002) The Livestock Excrements Pollution Load of the Yangtze River Delta City and Its Countermeasures. Resources and Environment in Yangtze River Basin, 5, 457-457.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.