The link between economic and environmental performance of the top 10 U.S. ports

Sang Hyun Cheon, Arnold Maltz, Kevin Dooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Ports currently face increasing demands to address a variety of environmental issues and achieve sustainability objectives. Using insights from the resource-based view of firms, this study examines the link between economic performance (EP) and environmental performance (ENP) of the top 10 U.S. seaports. Geospatial modeling is used to capture pollution incidents that can be geographically dispersed; in addition, both a bootstrap data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach and an undesirable DEA model are used to measure port ENP and EP. Our findings are in general consistent with assertions that positive EP can be attained in conjunction with good environmental practices. Ports’ capabilities of strategic capital investment in physical assets, collaborative interorganizational processes, and performance monitoring are essential, while they pursue both economic and environmental goals simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-247
Number of pages21
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2017


  • Sustainability
  • bootstrap DEA
  • environmental performance
  • kernel density estimation
  • port pollution
  • resource-based view of firms
  • undesirable DEA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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