This paper tries to explain the drivers of knowledge diffusion across a large sample of nations, focusing on the influence of university–industry collaborations. However, we also consider knowledge-diffusion contributions of creative outputs and joint ventures. Are the knowledge-diffusion dividends from university–industry collaborations greater than the dividends from creative outputs or from joint ventures? Results show that greater university–industry collaborations increase knowledge diffusion, and these spillovers are reinforced by creative outputs but not by joint ventures. Another interesting and novel finding is that the influences of university collaborations and creative outputs are sensitive to the prevailing diffusion of knowledge.