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While the environmental benefits of installing photovoltaic systems are clear, the costs can remain off-putting for private households. In this video, SVEN MÜLLER explores the relevance of the peer effect (neighbors already having the technology) in a decision to install a photovoltaic system. Establishing an installed base and considering fixed effects alongside an instrumental variable approach, Müller finds that peer effects are most prominent on a very local level i.e. within a distance of 100m. He also shows that the visibility of an existing photovoltaic system plays a vital role in its potential influence in the neighborhood. Further research will examine if this phenomenon is also observable outside of Germany and to what extent it is relevant to other new technologies (like electric vehicles).


Sven Müller is Chair of Operations Management at Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg and Adjunct Professor at RWTH Aachen Business School. He has previously worked at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg University and Dresden University of Technology where he completed his PhD. Müller’s research focuses on understanding and improving structures and processes in economics, management and business more generally. In 2021, he received the Verband der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft best paper award.


Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg)

Founded in 1993, the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg is one of the youngest universities in Germany. As a catalyst and driver of innovation, both in the region and well beyond, the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg pursues innovative strategies for reinforcing the transfer of technology and knowledge in regional and international enterprises. The university’s main focus of expertise is in the traditional areas of engineering, the natural sciences and medicine. It also views economics and management and the social sciences and humanities as essential disciplines for a modern university in the information age. The key areas of research transfer are automotive, digital engineering, medical technology, and renewable energies. ( more )
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Original publication

I Spot, I Adopt! Peer Effects and Visibility in Solar Photovoltaic Systemadoption of Households.

Müller Sven and Rode Johannes
Published in 2021

The Adoption of Photovoltaic Systems in Wiesbaden, Germany

Müller Sven and Rode Johannes
Economics of Innovation and New Technology
Published in 2013

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Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
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