ABSTRACT Spatial econometrics has become a mainstay for regional scientists aiming to estimate geographic spillovers in regional outcomes. Yet, many remain skeptical, especially urban economists who prefer natural experimental approaches. Their concerns revolve around identification and a general lack of a theoretical foundation in the estimation of spatial econometric models. This theme issue includes three papers from leading regional scientists to appraise the status of spatial econometrics. The outcome is sweeping proposals from (1) abandoning standard spatial econometrics because it cannot identify causality, (2) using nonparametric approaches, and (3) implementing more nuanced changes revolving around better theoretical and empirical modeling.