Lei Li and Philip E. Strahan
We analyze bank supply of credit under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The literature emphasizes relationships as a means to improve lender information, which helps banks manage credit risk. Despite imposing no risk, however, PPP supply reflects traditional measures of relationship lending: decreasing in bank size; increasing in prior experience, in commitment lending, and in core deposits. Our results suggest a new benefit of bank relationships, as they help firms access government-subsidized lending. Consistent with this benefit, we show that bank PPP supply, based on the structure of the local banking sector, alleviates increases in unemployment.