Document Type

Lessons Learned

JEL Codes

G01, G28


Claudia Sahm was a principal economist in the Division of Research and Statistics of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2007 to 2017 and section chief for the Consumer & Community Development section in the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs from 2017 to 2019. Her work focused on macro forecasting; she also researched household behavior and responses to fiscal stimulus. While at the Fed, she proposed the Sahm Rule, a gauge to call the start of a recession, based on an average of the unemployment rate. The rule is part of Sahm’s work on the use of automatic stabilizers to improve fiscal policy response in times of economic crisis. In 2019, Sahm left the Fed and advised Congress on fiscal policy. In 2021, she became a senior fellow at the Jain Family Institute, where she now serves as director of macroeconomic research. This Lessons Learned is based on an interview with Sahm that occurred in December 2020.

Date Revised