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Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
Richmond Fed Economic Brief
The Burns Disinflation of 1974
Thomas A. Lubik
Christian Matthes
Timothy Sablik

Economists often describe the Great Inflation of the 1970s as a failure of the monetary policy actions of the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. According to conventional wisdom, when Paul Volcker became chairman of the Fed in 1979, he implemented changes that ushered in a period of disinflation. This Economic Brief challenges this standard narrative in two ways. First, it argues that the “Volcker disinflation” had its roots in 1974. And second, Volcker’s actions were the culmination of a gradual shift in policy that began under Burns rather than an abrupt shift.

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Thomas A. Lubik & Christian Matthes & Timothy Sablik, "The Burns Disinflation of 1974" , Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Richmond Fed Economic Brief, issue November, pages 1-4, 2016.
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