This paper focuses on institutional influences on innovation efficiency across countries. Whereas various causes and effects of technological change have been examined, empirical investigations of the efficiency involved in innovation production are relatively few. Using data on a large sample of nations over 2018–2020 and considering corruption, regulatory quality, and state fragility as alternative institutional dimensions, our results show that greater corruption facilitates (“greases”) efficiency in the production of innovations. This is also the case with improvements in regulatory quality, while greater state fragility increases inefficiency. These findings for the overall sample are somewhat different for the OECD and non-OECD subsamples, although the greasing effect of corruption remains throughout. A robustness check with patent protection and government size as alternative institutional dimensions is also conducted.