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Applications or Approvals: What Drives Racial Disparities in the Paycheck Protection Program?
We use the 2020 Small Business Credit Survey to study the sources of racial disparities in use of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Black-owned firms are 8.9 percentage points less likely than observably similar white-owned firms to receive PPP loans. About 55 percent of this take-up disparity is attributable to a disparity in application propensity, while the remainder is attributable to a disparity in approval rates. The finding in prior research that Black-owned PPP recipients are less likely than white-owned recipients to borrow from banks and more likely to borrow from fintech ...
What Drove Racial Disparities in the Paycheck Protection Program?
Numerous studies of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided loans to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, have documented racial disparities in the program. Because publicly available PPP data only include information on approved loans, prior work has largely been unable to assess whether these disparities were driven by borrower application behavior or by lender approval decisions. In this post, which is based on a related Staff Report and NBER working paper, we use the Federal Reserve’s 2020 Small Business Credit Survey to examine PPP application behavior and ...