Will structure-environment-fit result in better port performance? —An empirical test on the validity of Matching Framework Theory

Yang Chen, Dong Yang, Peng Lian, Zheng Wan, Yubin Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although Matching Framework Theory (MFT) was introduced to explain inconsistencies in the port performance literature more than two decades ago, empirical studies to test its validity are absent. In this paper, we conduct an empirical study—focusing on one dimension of MFT, structure-environment-fit—and its impact on port performance. We deliberately select the Chinese container terminal industry (2004–2014) to test the proposed theory. We assume that the 2008 Financial Crisis in the middle of our observation period significantly changed the original structure-environment-fit state in the context, thereby resulting in a different impact on port performance. The event study research design also enables us to examine the influence of structure-environment-fit on port performance, while leaving other variables relatively stable. A multivariate analysis model in the truncated double bootstrapping method, median regression and a meta-frontier analysis are applied to prove our hypotheses. The results obtained based on data of 56 Chinese container terminals from 2004 to 2014 confirm that structure-environment-fit results in better port performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalTransport Policy
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Event study
  • Matching framework theory
  • Ownership-structure
  • Port performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation

Cite this