Spatial differentiation of China’s industrial enterprise R&D efficiency


  • Chengyun Wang
  • Yue Wang
  • Nana Li
  • Tengfei Ma



spatial differentiation, economic geography, China’s industrial enterprises, R&D efficiency, China, influencing factors


Taking China’s industrial enterprises above a designated size at provincial level as study objects, this paper explores enterprise R&D efficiency in different regions of China’s 31 mainland provinces over time with Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). It further discusses the factors influencing R&D efficiency. This paper explains R&D efficiency from the three perspectives of comprehensive efficiency, pure technical efficiency and scale efficiency. It is shown that although R&D efficiency displays rising trend, scale efficiency performs better than comprehensive and pure technical efficiency in China. The hot spots and cold spots of R&D efficiency change substantially in spatial distribution over time. Hot spots of comprehensive and pure technical efficiency migrated from Western China to coastal regions, demonstrating strong spatial dependence, whereas scale efficiency did not show a similar spatial distribution. Factors leading to variation in R&D efficiency across regions were studied. The significant factors for comprehensive, pure technical and scale efficiency were found to be different. These findings may be beneficial in planning regional development and effectively encouraging innovation at the regional level.




How to Cite

Wang, C., Wang, Y., Li, N., & Ma, T. (2019). Spatial differentiation of China’s industrial enterprise R&D efficiency. ERDKUNDE, 73(3), 199–210.