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Does localized imitation drive technology adoption? A case study on rooftop photovoltaic systems in Germany


The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the spatio-temporal diffusion of rooftop household photovoltaic installations in Germany and to test whether localized imitation drives their adoption. Our study is based on a unique data set of some 576,000 household photovoltaic systems installed in Germany through 2009. We employ an epidemic diffusion model which includes a spatial dimension, and control for temporal and spatial heterogeneity. According to our results, imitative adoption behavior is highly localized and an important factor for the diffusion of household photovoltaic systems.