Fertilizer using intensity and environmental efficiency for China’s agriculture sector from 1997 to 2014

Original Paper


Agriculture produced the largest methane emissions in China. It is of great importance to investigate effect of fertilizer using intensity on the environmental efficiency of China’s agriculture. This paper mainly investigates the determinants of environmental efficiency of China’s agriculture. First, we estimate environmental efficiency of China’s agriculture of 30 provinces from 1997 to 2014 through metafrontier SBM super efficiency with undesirable outputs, which allow for technology heterogeneity in different regions. Then, we compare environmental efficiency in different regions. Furthermore, we also analyze whether heterogeneity of environmental technology widened or decreased. Last, we also explore the determinants of environmental efficiency of China’s agriculture through bootstrap truncation regression. We find that fertilizer intensity negatively affects environmental efficiency. Urbanization has significant positive (1.454) effect on environmental efficiency under metafrontier in the east. It is significant use more organic fertilizer to decrease CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. It is important to enhance environmental innovation for China’s agriculture.


Fertilizer intensity Heterogeneity Environmental efficiency Agriculture 



We appreciate the financial support provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71603105, 71774071), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu, China (No. SBK2016042936), Science Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No. 16YJC790067), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M610051), and National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 15BGL200).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingle Long
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yusen Luo
    • 3
  • Huaping Sun
    • 3
  • Gang Tian
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ManagementJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina
  2. 2.Center for Energy and Environmental Policy ResearchBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Finance and EconomicsJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina

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