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Across the Universe: Policy Support for Employment and Revenue in the Pandemic Recession


  • Ryan Decker
  • Robert J. Kurtzman
  • Byron F. Lutz
  • Christopher J. Nekarda


Using data from 14 government sources, we develop comprehensive estimates of U.S. economic activity by sector, legal form of organization, and firm size to characterize how four government direct lending programs—the Paycheck Protection Program, the Main Street Lending Program, the Corporate Credit Facilities, and the Municipal Lending Facilities—relate to these classes of economic activity in the United States. The classes targeted by these programs are vast—accounting for 97 percent of total U.S. employment—though entityspecific financial criteria limit coverage within specific programs. These programs notionally cover a far larger universe than what was targeted by analogous Great Recession-era lending policies. We relate our estimates to those from timely alternative data sources, which do not typically cover the majority of the economic universe.

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  • Ryan Decker & Robert J. Kurtzman & Byron F. Lutz & Christopher J. Nekarda, 2020. "Across the Universe: Policy Support for Employment and Revenue in the Pandemic Recession," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-099, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2020-99
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2020.099

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Employment; Activity estimates; Direct lending programs; Paycheck Protection Program; PPP; Main Street; Corporate Credit Facilities; Alternative data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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