Is energy efficiency of Belt and Road Initiative countries catching up or falling behind? Evidence from a panel quantile regression approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Article number113581
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Online published29 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has raised concern that it may involve an extensive economic growth pattern at a higher cost of energy and the environment, and China is making a great effort to construct a green BRI, which may improve the general energy efficiency of BRI countries. Therefore, it is important to investigate whether backward countries with low energy efficiency are catching up with frontier countries or falling behind. In response, this paper adopts DEA to calculate the total-factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of the BRI countries, and investigates heterogeneous beta-convergence in energy efficiency of BRI counties and its factors. The results indicate that: (1) except for 2009 and 2010, the TFEE along the BRI experienced an increasing trend due to the global finance crisis; (2) BRI countries with low TFEE are catching up with countries with high TFEE, and more significantly when the TFEE growth rate is greater; (3) the TFEE converges at a faster rate in high-income BRI countries and Eastern Europe and West Asia countries; and (4) inadequate innovation ability and a weak R&D absorption capacity may decelerate the energy efficiency convergence rate of BRI countries, especially those with low-income.

Research Area(s)

  • Belt and Road Initiative, Convergence, Energy efficiency, Panel quantile regression