Measuring China's agricultural green total factor productivity and its drivers during 1998–2019

Xiuquan Huang, Chao Feng, Jiahong Qin, Xi Wang, Tao Zhang

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Improving agricultural green total factor productivity (AGTFP) is essential to China's agricultural sustainable development. Although several studies have focused on China's AGTFP, its measurement and drivers are not fully investigated yet. More specifically, the published research examining the drivers of China's AGTFP at both the production and factor levels is still scarce. To fill this gap, this study constructs two different data envelopment analysis models combined with green Luenberger productivity indicator (GLPI), the biennial weight modified Russell model and the biennial bounded adjusted model, to measure China's AGTFP as well as check the robustness. We further decompose the AGTFP growth at both production and factor levels to investigate its drivers. The main findings are as follows. First, during 1998–2019, the central region with its GLPI at 0.0377 had the largest AGTFP growth, followed by the western (0.0281) and eastern regions (0.0254). Second, in terms of production-decomposition, technical progress was crucial driver to AGTFP growth, energy conservation and emission reduction (ECER) and market performance. Third, in terms of factors-decomposition, the contributions of these factors to the AGTFP growth were positive and the contribution rates ranged from 1.01% (pesticide) to 38.51% (agricultural carbon emissions). Additionally, ECER performance was the primary driver of AGTFP, accounting for about 51.35% of the growth. Finally, according to the decompositions, Porter effect was discovered in China's agricultural sector. ECER drove China's agriculture to achieve win-win development between the environment and economic production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154477
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2022


  • Agriculture
  • Biennial environmental technology
  • Green total factor productivity
  • Luenberger productivity indicator
  • Porter effect


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