December 2020 (Revised June 2021)

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

Ryan A. Decker, Robert J. Kurtzman, Byron F. Lutz, and 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—related 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 entity-specific financial criteria limited coverage within specific programs. We relate our estimates to those from timely alternative data sources, which do not typically cover the majority of the economic universe.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Original paper: PDF | Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: employment, activity estimates, direct lending programs, Paycheck Protection Program, PPP, Main Street, Corporate Credit Facilities, alternative data


PDF: Full Paper

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: June 23, 2021