Jun 1, 2016

New Working Paper

New working paper on Spatio-Temporal Variation in Peer Effects – The Case of Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in Germany.
Natural logarithm of yearly annex of PV installations divided by number of potential adopters across Germany. The lighter a region is colored in the figure, the more PV systems are installed in the corresponding year while controlling for the number of buildings.
We study spatio-temporal variation of peer effects in rooftop photovoltaic adoption of households. Our investigation employs geocoded data on all potential adopters and on all grid-connected photovoltaic systems set up in Germany through 2010. The detailed locational data allows us to construct an individual measure of peer effects for each potential adopter across Germany. Using a discrete choice model with panel data, we find evidence that the impact of peers on adoption decisions is non-linearly decreasing in distance to a location. The pattern is most pronounced for distances up to 200 meters. We also find that peer effects in photovoltaics adoption decrease over time and that German solar system adopters are of high socio-economic status.

Keywords: Peer effects, installed base, discrete choice, technology adoption, technology diffusion, imitation, photovoltaics, solar, Germany