The Times analyzed more than 150,000 awards and created a database of incentive spending, which is searchable on the newspaper’s Web site. The survey was supplemented by interviews with more than 100 officials in government and business organizations as well as corporate executives and consultants. A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them. Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States. Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages. States compete with other states, cities compete with surrounding suburbs, and even small towns have entered the race with the goal of defeating their neighbors.