A young researcher from Namur wins an award from the Spatial Econometrics Association
Nicolas Debarsy, a researcher at the Centre for Research on Regional Economics and Economic Policy (CERPE) at the University ofNotre Dame de la Paix in Namur, received the Award for Best Young Spatial Econometrician's Paper, from the Spatial Econometrics Association (SEA), which praised both the originality of the research carried out and its relevance for the profession.
Awarded during the annual conference held by this international spatial econometrics association (Toulouse, 6, 7 and 8 July), the prize was given to Nicolas Debarsy for his article and encourages him in his line of research by showing the benefit of his scientific enquiry.
Spatial econometrics refers to the statistical methods which enable the interactions between individuals to be considered. ‘Individuals’ means countries, regions, firms or, more generally, observations capable of being pinpointed.
While it is conceptually easy to consider the presence of correlations between individuals, looking at it in a formal manner requires specific tools which explain the assumed patterns of interaction between the observations and empirically estimate the extent of the existing correlation.
An innovative method
The Namur researcher’s contribution, entitled, The Mundlak approach in the spatial Durbin panel data model, outlines a methodology that enables different world views (economic or political theories) to be compared, which incorporate, in addition to the presence of interactions, the effect, on the variable accounted for, of explanatory elements remaining constant over time.
This method enables, for example, the factors determining house prices at a commune level in Belgium to be studied. It is in fact important for such a study to not only be able to consider a correlation of property prices between different communes, but also variables (such as population density or income per inhabitant) which change over time and characteristics (such as the appeal of the commune, measured by different wellbeing indexes) considered constant, in the short and medium term, over time.