This study investigates the localization of collaboration in knowledge creation by using data on Japanese patent applications. Applying distance-based methods, we obtained the following results. First, collaborations are significantly localized at the 5% level with a localization range of approximately 100 km. Second, the localization of collaboration is observed in most technologies. Third, the extent of localization was stable from 1986 to 2005 despite extensive developments in information and communications technology that facilitate communication between remote organizations. Fourth, the extent of localization is substantially greater in inter-firm collaborations than in intra-firm collaborations. Furthermore, in inter-firm collaborations, the extent of localization is greater in collaborations with small firms. This result suggests that geographic proximity mitigates the firm-border effects on collaborations, especially for small firms.
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