How Does the Global Network of Research Collaboration Affect the Quality of Innovation?

Author Name IINO Takashi (Niigata University) / INOUE Hiroyasu (University of Hyogo) / SAITO Yukiko (Senior Fellow, RIETI) / TODO Yasuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. October 2018 18-E-070
Research Project Firms' Domestic and International Networks
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This study examines how the research collaboration of firms affects the quality of their innovation outcomes using comprehensive patent data for firms in the world from 1991 to 2010. Identifying research collaboration by co-patenting relationships, we find that research collaboration with other firms, particularly with foreign firms, leads to substantial improvement in innovation quality. We also observe an inverted U-shaped effect of the density of a firm's ego network and a positive effect of brokerage in the global network, especially for firms with international collaboration experiences. These results are applicable to the effect on the quality of innovation achieved individually without any collaboration, suggesting that the knowledge of firms diffuses to and is acquired by their collaboration partners. Finally, we find that the collaboration effect is larger in the 2000s than in the 1990s and varies across countries.

This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (17-J-034) with some additional information and changes.

Published: Iino, Takashi, Hiroyasu Inoue, Yukiko Umeno Saito, and Yasuyuki Todo, 2021. "How does the global network of research collaboration affect the quality of innovation?" Japanese Economic Review, Vol. 72(1), 5-48.