This study examines how 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 a positive effect of the brokerage in the global network, especially for firms with international collaboration links. These results are applicable to the effect on the quality of innovation achieved individually without any collaboration. Therefore, our findings emphasize the importance of links with a variety of partners, particularly with foreign partners to improve innovation performance. Finally, we find that the collaboration effect is larger in the 2000s than in the 1990s and varies depending on firm size and across countries.
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