Regional science matters, and spatial econometrics is of help to it. However, an increasing emphasis on the spatial aspects of the economy (Gibbons, Overman, 2012), together with a changing view of individual behaviour from the «traditional atomistic agents to the interaction among these agents» (Anselin, 2010, p. 7), have characterised the evolution of spatial econometrics «from the margins in applied urban and regional economic analysis to the mainstream of economics and other social sciences» (Anselin, 2010, p. 7).
In the past three decades, spatial econometrics has received close attention from both the theoretical and applied points of view. Several methodological contributions in this field have been published in the main econometrics theoretical journals, and several books have dealt with this topic, providing a thorough overview of its advances.
Giuseppe Arbia contributes to this literature with his book A Primer for Spatial Econometrics, which is a good introductory textbook for beginners, as well as a good read for more expert practitioners. In fact, the book provides a practical guide to spatial econometrics tools: it discusses the theoretical aspects of the discipline, explaining its key concepts and providing references for a more in-depth study, and it deals with practical problems that researchers may encounter. The applied nature of the book is also apparent in the presentation of several examples, with exercises solved using the free statistical software R. Moreover, although this book cannot substitute existing specialised spatial econometrics texts, it only partially overlaps with them. In fact, it discusses some of the recent advances which are not treated by other textbooks.