The International Autumn School in Spatial Econometrics took place in Toledo, Spain, from 22nd to 24th September 2011.
It indeed attracted a very international audience with participants coming from more than 15 countries. Eights leading professors in the field including Professor Anil Bera, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Professor Jean Paelinck, George Mason University, presented their current research to 25 doctoral and post-doctoral student participants. This small size of the group allowed for very close interaction between all participants. Hence, specific research questions could be discussed and other advice could be obtained from the professors. Moreover, it provided an excellent opportunity for meeting other PhD students who conduct research in a similar field.
Thematically, the International Autumn School in Spatial Econometrics covered all major fields of spatial econometrics and spatial statistics, in particular asymmetries, causality testing, filtering, space-time models, specification and identification, specification testing and fitting.
Both student and senior participants showed great interest in the material of the Regional Studies Association that was displayed in the coffee break room. Most materials were already taken by the end of the first day of the workshop.
On the first day, Professor Bera gave a talk about specification testing focusing on Rao Score tests as an alternative to the standard testing procedures. In the afternoon, Professor Griffith talked about eigenvector filtering in general and then applied to spacio-temporal model structures. The last presentation of the day was given by Professor Bivand who provided an overview on important issues in fitting, in particular discussing spatial correlation, areal data and spatial weights and measures. The second part of his talk was delivered on Friday morning focusing on misspecification. Afterwards, Professor Múr taught about causality testing for spatial data. In addition to the more standard parametric approaches, he also introduced nonparametric techniques.
On Friday afternoon, an excursion to the historic city centre of Toledo was offered. The Saturday talks started with a presentation by Professor Arbia on anisotropies and asymmetries in spatial models. He also provided an application to regional growth models. Afterwards, Professor Paelinck gave a talk primarily focusing on multiple regimes in space-time models and also indicated directions for future research. The International Autumn School in Spatial Econometrics was closed by a session specifically dedicated to discussing research questions of the participating PhD students.
To sum up, I was very satisfied with the autumn school. The material that was covered will be of direct relevance to my dissertation. All the facilities and the organisation of the workshop proved to be excellent.