Thirty years of spatial econometrics


  • Luc Anselin

    1. GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 84287-5302, USA (e-mail:
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    • Earlier versions of the ideas incorporated in this paper were presented at a number of conferences and colloquia spanning a period of over five years. This includes the Inaugural Arthur Getis Lecture in Spatial Analysis, San Diego State University (2005), the Spatial Analysis and Modeling Plenary Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (2007), a Fellows Colloquium at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, Research Triangle Park (2007), a Plenary Address to the Third World Congress of the Spatial Econometric Association, Brooklyn (2008), and the Reginald Golledge Distinguished Lecture in Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara (2009). Comments from Alan Murray, Serge Rey, an anonymous referee, and the participants and organizers of these various meetings are gratefully acknowledged and contributed to the refinement of this final version.



In this paper, I give a personal view on the development of the field of spatial econometrics during the past 30 years. I argue that it has moved from the margins to the mainstream of applied econometrics and social science methodology. I distinguish three broad phases in the development, which I refer to as preconditions, take off and maturity. For each of these phases I describe the main methodological focus and list major contributions. I conclude with some speculations about future directions.


En este artículo, expongo mi opinión personal sobre el avance en el campo de la econometría espacial durante los últimos 30 años. Mi argumento es que ha pasado de estar en la periferia de la econometría espacial y la metodología de ciencias sociales a ser algo corriente. Hago la distinción entre tres fases principales en el avance, a las que denomino precondiciones, arranque y madurez. Para cada una de estas fases describo el objetivo metodológico principal y proporciono un listado con las contribuciones principales. Concluyo con especulaciones sobre posibles direcciones en el futuro.

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