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Total factor productivity measurement with carbon reduction

Xiancun Hu (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
Chunlu Liu (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 17 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to present an approach for productivity measurement that considers both construction growth and carbon reduction.


The approach applied is a sequential Malmquist-Luenberger productivity analysis based on a directional distance function and sequential benchmark technology using the data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique. The sequential Malmquist-Luenberger productivity change index is decomposed into pure technical efficiency, scale efficiency, and technological change indices, in order to investigate the driving forces for productivity change.


The construction industries of the Australian states and territories were selected implement the new approach. The results indicate that construction growth and carbon reduction can be achieved simultaneously through the learning of techniques from benchmarks.

Practical implications

Current research on total factor productivity (TFP) in construction generally neglects carbon emissions. This does not accurately depict the nature of construction and therefore yields biased estimation results. TFP measurement should consider carbon reduction, which is beneficial for policymakers to promote sustainable productivity development in the construction industry.


The approach developed here is generic and enhances productivity and DEA research levels in construction. This research can be used to formulate policies for evaluating performance in worldwide construction projects, organizations and industries by considering undesirable outputs and desirable outputs simultaneously, and for promoting sustainable development in construction by identifying competitiveness factors.



Hu, X. and Liu, C. (2017), "Total factor productivity measurement with carbon reduction", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 575-592.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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