Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 87–106 | Cite as

Eco-Efficiency and Convergence in OECD Countries

  • Mariam Camarero
  • Juana Castillo
  • Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo
  • Cecilio Tamarit


This paper assesses the convergence in eco-efficiency of a group of 22 OECD countries over the period 1980–2008. In doing so, three air pollutants representing the impact on the environment of economic activities are considered, namely, carbon dioxide (\({\text{ CO}}_{2}\)), nitrogen oxides (\({\text{ NO}}_\mathrm{X}\)) and sulphur oxides (\({\text{ SO}}_\mathrm{X}\)); furthermore, eco-efficiency scores at both country and air-pollutant-specific level are computed using Data Envelopment Analysis techniques. Then, convergence is evaluated using the recent approach by Phillips and Sul Econometrica 75:1771–1855 (2007), which tests for the existence of convergence groups. First, we find that eco-efficiency has improved over the period, with the exception of \({\text{ NO}}_\mathrm{X}\) emissions. Second, Switzerland is the most eco-efficient country, followed by some Scandinavian economies, such as Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Denmark. In contrast, Southern European countries such as Portugal, Spain and Greece, in addition to Hungary, Turkey, Canada and the United States, are among the worst performers. Finally, we find that both the most eco-efficient countries and the worst tend to form clubs of convergence.


Air pollutants Eco-efficiency Data Envelopment Analysis  Convergence clubs OECD 

JEL classification

C15 C22 C61 F15 Q56 



The authors thank the comments and suggestions from two anonymous referees. This research has been financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (projects ECO2011-30260-C03-01 and ECO2012-32189). The authors also thank the financial aid received from the Generalitat Valenciana (program PROMETEO 2009/098).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariam Camarero
    • 1
  • Juana Castillo
    • 2
  • Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo
    • 2
  • Cecilio Tamarit
    • 2
  1. 1.Dpto. EconomíaUniversidad Jaume ICastellónSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Economía Aplicada IIUniversidad de ValenciaValenciaSpain

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