Dr. Johannes Rode

Postdoc at the Chair of International Economics


work +49 6151 16-57263

Work S1|03 188
Hochschulstraße 1
64289 Darmstadt

  • Economics of Innovation
  • Technology Diffusion
  • Energy Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Economic Geography

Working Paper

(with Diego Comin), 2013 (revised version 2015), NBER Working Paper Series, No. 19219.

Abstract and PDF

We study the effect of the diffusion of photovoltaic (PV) systems on the fraction of votes obtained by the German Green Party in federal elections. Using both regional and household survey data, we show that households that adopted PV systems became more supportive of the Green Party. We estimate that the adoption of domestic PV systems led to 25~percent of the increment in green votes between 1998 and 2009. Our results are robust to instrumentation using regional variation in solar radiation and past experience adopting non-green technologies. We conjecture that these results are driven by cognitive dissonance.

Full paper (revised version 2015)

(with Sven Müller), 2019 (revised version 2021).

Abstract and PDF

We study peer effect variation in rooftop photovoltaic adoption by households. Our investigation employs geocoded data on all potential adopters and on all grid-connected photovoltaic systems set up in Baden-Württemberg, Germany through 2010. We construct an individual measure of peer effects for each potential adopter. For identification, we exploit exogenous variation in two dimensions of photovoltaic system roof appropriateness: measures for their average inclination and orientation. Using different models of adoption with panel data, we only find evidence for causal peer effects for visible systems. We show that visible PV systems cause an increase in the probability of installing which is around 8 times higher in comparison to not visible PV systems.

Full paper (revised version 2021) also available at SSRN

(with Timo Mitze), 2021.

Abstract and PDF

Growing evidence on higher transmissibility of novel variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is raising alarm in many countries. We provide near-time estimates of the statistical association between reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and epidemiological indicators at the local area level in Germany. Our findings indicate that the 7-day incidence rates in regions with confirmed VOC cases increased by up to 35%, on average, after VOC reporting compared to regions without confirmed cases by February 4. The hospitalization rate for COVID-19 patients in intensive care increased by up to 40%, but only for regions with most reported VOC cases. Both indicators further show a clear upward trend in regions with reported VOC cases vis-a-vis those without cases.

Available at medRxiv (revised Version): DOI:10.1101/2021.02.16.21251803

There is a short summary (on an early version) on; the study is also discussed in F.A.Z. Wissen – der Podcast

(with Christian Krekel, Julia Rechlitz and Alexander Zerrahn), 2020.

Abstract and PDF

Although there is strong support for renewable energy plants, they are often met with local resistance. We quantify the externalities of renewable energy plants using wellbeing data. We focus on the example of biogas, one of the most frequently deployed technologies besides wind and solar. To this end, we combine longitudinal household data with novel panel data on more than 13,000 installations in Germany. Identification rests on a spatial difference-in-differences design exploiting exact geographical coordinates of households, biogas installations and wind direction and intensity. We find limited evidence for negative externalities: impacts are moderate in size and spatially confined to a radius of $2,000$ metres around plants. We discuss implications for research and regional planning, in particular minimum setback distances and potential monetary compensations.

Available as CEP Discussion Paper and as IZA Discussion Paper


The well-studied S-shaped diffusion of technologies allows us to test whether the adoption rate of renewable energy plants differs between German NUTS-3 regions in which a successful referendum against a single plant was organized and the remaining regions. We use a panel data set on the NUTS-3 level from 1992 to 2011 and control for NUTS-3 and year fixed effects. We exploit the fact that referenda are mainly organized on the municipal district level against a single plant or building area. Our study reveals that the adoption rate (i.e. the first difference in the diffusion level) is indeed lower in NUTS-3 regions where a successful referendum took place. This finding is valid for wind power and large biomass plants. We interpret this as evidence that potential investors in wind power and large biomass plants not only avoid the municipal district where a referendum was organized but stay away from the municipal district's NUTS-3 region.

Face Masks Considerably Reduce COVID-19 Cases in Germany

(with Timo Mitze, Reinhold Kosfeld and Klaus Wälde), 2020. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2015954117
The following links contain additional information: SI Appendix and Replication files. Revised working paper version available as CESifo Working Paper. First version available as IZA Discussion Paper and in Covid Economics, Vetted and Real-Time Papers (Issue 27, 9 June 2020). Also, see a post in English at and in German at ö
There has been media coverage in English, e.g. in Forbes or in The Times and in German, e.g., in SPIEGEL Wissenschaft , on FAZ.NET, on or on Korinna Hennig and Christian Drosten also discuss the study in episode 48 of the NDR podcast Coronavirus-Update: There is glory in prevention. This link to Altmetric indicates a very high attention score and includes links to media and online coverage of the PNAS version.
Uses the synthetic control method to analyze the effect of face masks on the spread of COVID-19 in Germany; exploits regional variation in the point in time when wearing of face masks became mandatory in public transport and shops; finds that face masks reduced the number of newly registered SARS-CoV-2 infections between 15% and 75% over a period of 20 days after their mandatory introduction; concludes that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 47%.

Voting after a major flood: Is there a link between democratic experience and retrospective voting?

(with Michael Neugart), 2021. Published in European Economic Review. DOI:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2021.103665, almost identical working paper version is available at SSRN
Before March 23, 2021, published version is available free of charge:
Also, see a related interview at (in German)
Explores whether retrospective voting is related to voters’ democratic experience; compares the voting behavior in West Germany to the voting behavior in the formerly non-democratic East Germany after a disaster relief program addressing a flood in 2013; reveals a 0.9 percentage points increase in the vote share for the incumbent party in the flooded municipalities in the East compared to the West; analyzing an earlier flood, variation of democratic experience within East Germany, and a panel survey provides further evidence that less democratically experienced voters are easier prey to pre-election policies

Classroom or Pub – Where are Persistent Peer Relationships between University Students Formed?

(with Thomas Fischer), 2020. Published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization- DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2020.07.019, final (identical) working paper version is available at SSRN, also, see a short summary (in German) and my co-author’s description in the German podcast Peer Review – Wissenschaftsgeschichten aus dem Äther (starting min. 11, episode 3).
Exploits the random assignment of students into groups and student performance before students met; finds peer effects only between groups of two students who were already similar before

Does Localized Imitation Drive Technology Adoption? A Case Study on Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in Germany

(with Alexander Weber), 2016. Published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. DOI:10.1016/j.jeem.2016.02.001, also, see a short summary (in German).
Based on 576,000 household photovoltaic systems installed in Germany through 2009; employs an epidemic diffusion model which includes a spatial dimension, and controls for temporal and spatial heterogeneity; finds that imitative adoption behavior is highly localized and an important factor for the diffusion of household photovoltaic systems

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2017 | 2016 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2009
Number of items: 15.


Kosfeld, Reinhold ; Mitze, Timo ; Rode, Johannes ; Wälde, Klaus (2021):
The Covid-19 containment effects of public health measures - A spatial difference-in-differences approach.
n/a, In: Journal of Regional Science, 2021 (n/a), DOI: 10.1111/jors.12536,

Neugart, Michael ; Rode, Johannes (2021):
Voting after a major flood: Is there a link between democratic experience and retrospective voting?
In: European Economic Review, 133, p. 103665. ISSN 0014-2921,
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2021.103665,


Fischer, Thomas ; Rode, Johannes (2020):
Classroom or Pub - Where are Persistent Peer Relationships between University Students Formed?
In: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 178, pp. 474-493. ISSN 0167-2681,
DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.07.019,

Rode, Johannes ; Müller, Sven (2020):
I Spot, I Adopt! Peer Effects and Visibility in Solar Photovoltaic System Adoption of Households.
In: Working Paper Series, SSRN, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3469548,

Mitze, Timo ; Kosfeld, Reinhold ; Rode, Johannes ; Wälde, Klaus (2020):
Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany.
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (51), pp. 32293-32301. National Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0027-8424,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2015954117,


Neugart, Michael ; Rode, Johannes (2019):
Voting after a Major Flood: Is there a Link between Democratic Experience and Retrospective Voting?
In: Working Paper Series, SSRN, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3470110,

Fischer, Thomas ; Rode, Johannes (2019):
Classroom or Pub – Where are Persistent Peer Relationships between University Students Formed?
In: Working Paper Series, SSRN, DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3451739,


Weber, Alexander ; Rode, Johannes (2017):
Imitationseffekte bei der Verbreitung von Photovoltaik-Anlagen in Deutschland.
In: Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen, 67 (1/2), pp. 60-63. [Article]


Rode, Johannes ; Müller, Sven (2016):
Spatio-Temporal Variation in Peer Effects - The Case of Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems in Germany.


Rode, Johannes (2014):
Renewable Energy Adoption in Germany - Drivers, Barriers and Implications.
Darmstadt, tuprints, TU Darmstadt,
[Ph.D. Thesis]


Comin, Diego ; Rode, Johannes (2013):
From Green Users to Green Voters.
In: Working Paper Series, (19219), National Bureau of Economic Research, [Report]

Müller, Sven ; Rode, Johannes (2013):
The adoption of photovoltaic systems in Wiesbaden, Germany.
In: Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 22 (5), pp. 519-535. [Article]


Rode, Johannes ; Weber, Alexander
Helbich, Marco ; Deierling, Hannah ; Zipf, Alexander (eds.) (2011):
Die räumliche Diffusion von Photovoltaikinstallationen in Deutschland.
In: Heidelberger Geographische Bausteine, In: “Theorie und quantitative Methoden in der Geographie – Kolloquiumsbeiträge”, Universität Heidelberg, Selbstverlag des Geographischen Instituts, [Book Section]

Rode, Johannes
Löw, Martina ; Terizakis, Georgios (eds.) (2011):
Urbane Innovationssysteme.
In: Städte und ihre Eigenlogik – Ein Handbuch für Stadtplanung und Stadtentwicklung, pp. 47-55, Frankfurt/Main, Campus, [Book Section]


Rode, Johannes ; Crassard, Fabien (2009):
The evolution of building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) in the German and French technological innovation systems for solar cells.
Köln, Lambert Academic Publishing, [Book]

This list was generated on Wed Jun 16 03:56:39 2021 CEST.

9th Mannheim Conference on Energy and the Environment, Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany, 20th and 21st of May, 2021.

VfS Annual Conference, Virtual Conference, Germany, 27th to 30th of September, 2020.

VfS Annual Conference, Leipzig, Germany, 22nd to 25th of September, 2019.

24th Annual Conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Manchester, UK, 26th to 29th of June 2019.

27th Silvaplana Workshop on Political Economy, Pontresina, Switzerland, 22th to 26th of July, 2018.

Regional Studies Association Annual Conference 2018, Lugano, Switzerland, 3rd to 6th of June, 2018.

7th Workshop Regional Economics, ifo Institute Dresden Branch, Germany, 28th and 29th of September, 2017.

Congress of the European Regional Science Association, Vienna, Austria, 23rd to 26th of August 2016.

Fifth Mannheim Energy Conference, Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW), Mannheim, 19th and 20th of May, 2016.

ZEW Summer Workshop for Young Economists, Centre for European Economic Research, 6th to 9th July, 2015.

Fourth Mannheim Energy Conference, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany, 7th and 8th of May, 2015.

American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA, 21st to 25th of April, 2015.

World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economics (WCERE), Istanbul, Turkey, 27th of June to 2nd of July, 2014.

Doctoral Seminar on Energy, Environment and Well-Being, Institute for Advanced Studies (Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg – HWK), Delmenhorst, Germany, 5th and 6th of June, 2014.

Economic Geography and International Trade (EGIT) Research Meeting, CESifo Conference Centre, Munich, Germany, 7th and 8th of March, 2014.

3rd Workshop on Regional Economics, ifo Institute Dresden Branch, Germany, 24th and 25th of October, 2013.

2nd SEEK Conference “The Green Growth Challenge”, Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, Germany, 9th and 10th of March, 2012.

“20. Deutschsprachige Kolloquium für Theorie und Quantitative Methoden in der Geographie”, Hamburg University, Germany, 23th to 25th of February, 2012.

VfS Annual Conference, Frankfurt/Main, Germany, 4th to 7th of September, 2011.

Congress of the European Regional Science Association, Barcelona, Spain, 30th of August to 3rd of September, 2011.

26th Congress of the European Economic Association, Oslo, Norway, 25th to 29th of August, 2011.

Vth World Conference of the Spatial Econometrics Association, Toulouse, France, 6th to 8th of July, 2011.

8th International Conference on the European Energy Market, Zagreb, Croatia, 25th to 27th of May, 2011.

“19. deutschsprachige Kolloquium für Theorie und Quantitative Methoden in der Geographie”, Heidelberg University, Germany, 24th to 26th of February, 2011.

3rd bi-annual EURA conference “Understanding City Dynamics”, Darmstadt, Germany, 24th to 26th of September, 2010.

Zvi Griliches Research Summer School in the Economics of Innovation, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, Spain, 12th to 14th of July, 2010.

last modified: May 31, 2021