Marc Levinson critiques "The Smartest Places on Earth" (Amazon) at the WSJ:
Albany is now a hub of nanoscale science. But getting it off the ground was expensive: Every job created cost taxpayers nearly $1 million. [...] The authors seem unworried by the possibility that some brainbelts may prove as ineffectual as Massachusetts’ centers of excellence. Rather blithely, with no evidence whatsoever, they assert that “there are far more examples of successful government participation in helping innovation than there are of misfires.” That confidence is not reassuring to anyone who wonders whether the $1.2 billion of public funds used to build a semiconductor plant was well spent.