The rapid growth of China’s economy in recent years has greatly improved its citizens’ living standards, but economic growth consumes many various energy sources as well as produces harmful air pollution. Nitrogen oxides, SO2 (sulfur dioxide), and other polluting gases are damaging the environment and people’s health, with a particular spike in incidences of many air pollution-related diseases in recent years. While there have been many documents discussing China’s energy and environmental issues in the past, few of them analyze economic development, air pollution, and residents’ health together. Therefore, this study uses the modified undesirable dynamic two-stage DEA (data envelopment analysis) model to explore the economic, environmental, and health efficiencies of 30 provinces in China. The empirical results show the following: (1) Most provinces have lower efficiency values in the health stage than in the production stage. (2) Among the provinces with annual efficiency values below 1, their energy consumption, CO2 (carbon dioxide), and NOx (nitrogen oxide) efficiency values have mostly declined from 2013 to 2016, while their SO2 efficiency values have increased (less SO2 emissions). (3) The growth rate of SO2 efficiency in 2016 for 10 provinces is much higher than in previous years. (4) The health expenditure efficiencies of most provinces are at a lower level and show room for improvement. (5) In most provinces, the mortality rate is higher, but on a decreasing trend. (6) Finally, as representative for a typical respiratory infection, most provinces have a high level of tuberculosis efficiency, indicating that most areas of China are highly effective at respiratory disease governance.
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