Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 209–218 | Cite as

Closest targets and minimum distance to the Pareto-efficient frontier in DEA

  • Juan Aparicio
  • José L. Ruiz
  • Inmaculada Sirvent


In this paper, we propose a general approach to find the closest targets for a given unit according to a previously specified criterion of similarity. The idea behind this approach is that closer targets determine less demanding levels of operation for the inputs and outputs of the inefficient units to perform efficiently. Similarity can be interpreted as closeness between the inputs and outputs of the assessed unit and the proposed targets, and this closeness can be measured by using either different distance functions or different efficiency measures. Depending on how closeness is measured, we develop several mathematical programming problems that can be easily solved and guarantee to reach the closest projection point on the Pareto-efficient frontier. Thus, our approach leads to the closest targets by means of a single-stage procedure, which is easier to handle than those based on algorithms aimed at identifying all the facets of the efficient frontier.


Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) Target setting Minimum distance to the Pareto-efficient frontier 

JEL Classification

C61 C67 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Aparicio
    • 1
  • José L. Ruiz
    • 1
  • Inmaculada Sirvent
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación OperativaUniversidad Miguel HernándezElcheSpain

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