This paper investigates how network relations, proximity and their interplay affect collaboration and their inventive performance. Using patent citations as a proxy for patent quality, we investigate how the network and proximity characteristics of co-inventors enable them to access different sources of knowledge, in different geographical and organizational contexts, and finally affect the quality of inventive collaboration. Our findings enable to address the proximity paradox, which states that proximity facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing, but it does not necessarily increase innovative performance, too much proximity may even harm innovation (Boschma and Frenken, 2009; Broekel and Boschma, 2011).
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