The evolution of the federal reserve’s inflation target

Project Summary:

This project seeks to better understand the Federal Reserve’s efforts to identify and achieve an inflation target. Through a historical study, the author will determine and analyze periods in which the Fed prioritized stimulating growth and maximizing employment, versus the periods when it instead sought to control inflation. As the national debate over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dual mandate continues, this novel historical perspective has the potential to inform the conversation on a fundamental economic institution in important ways.


Samir Sonti is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at UC-Santa Barbara, where he studies 20th century U.S. labor and economic history. Sonti’s dissertation focuses on the politics of inflation in the U.S. from the 1930s to the 1980s. He received a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.