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Mostly pointless spatial econometrics

Gibbons, Stephen ORCID: 0000-0002-2871-8562 and Overman, Henry G. ORCID: 0000-0002-3525-7629 (2012) Mostly pointless spatial econometrics. Journal of Regional Science, 52 (2). pp. 172-191. ISSN 0022-4146

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-9787.2012.00760.x


We argue that identification problems bedevil applied spatial economic research. Spatial econometrics usually solves these problems by deriving estimators assuming that functional forms are known and by using model comparison techniques to let the data choose between competing specifications. We argue that in many situations of interest this achieves, at best, only very weak identification. Worse, in many cases, such an approach will be uninformative about the causal economic processes at work, rendering much applied spatial econometric research "pointless," unless the main aim is description of the data. We advocate an alternative approach based on the "experimentalist paradigm" which puts issues of identification and causality at center stage.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Centre for Economic Performance
Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development
Date Deposited: 04 May 2012 09:23
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2024 16:48

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