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Spatial modeling of economic phenomena requires the adoption of complex econometric tools, which allow us to deal with important methodological issues, such as spatial dependence, spatial unobserved heterogeneity and nonlinearities. In this paper we describe some recently developed econometric approaches (i.e. Spatial Autoregressive Semiparametric Geoadditive Models), which address the three issues simultaneously. We also illustrate the relative performance of these methods with an application to the case of house prices in the Lucas County. (c) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.