Congestion and returns to scale in data envelopment analysis

Quanling Wei, Hong Yan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


Congestion indicates an economic state where inputs are overly invested. Evidence of congestion occurs whenever reducing some inputs can increase outputs. Return to scale is another related important economic implication of DEA efficiencies. In this research, we discuss together the problems of congestion, constant return to scale, increasing return to scale and decreasing return to scale by output oriented DEA models, C2R model, BC2model, FG model, ST model, and a modified model. We identify the necessary and sufficient conditions for the evidence of congestion, constant, increasing and decreasing returns to scale. We show the exclusive relationships between the concepts of congestion and returns to scale. Numerical examples are provided for illustration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-660
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2003


  • Congestion
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Efficiency
  • Return to scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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