Are economic development subsidies worth it?

It’s hard to know if they are not measured.  I came across an interesting column by David Campbell in the New Brunswick, Canada, Business Journal.  He pointed out that “… despite offering the most lucrative business incentives in Canada, Investissement Québec claims to have a cost-benefit ratio of 3.74 to 1.”  He goes on to say that he looked at a dozen economic development agencies, and only two reported a cost-benefit analysis of their efforts.

Does your state, county or town follow-up its economic subsidies with a cost-benefit analysis?

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