Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound


Glenn D. Rudebusch

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2013-18 | May 1, 2015

We show that conventional dynamic term structure models (DTSMs) estimated on recent U.S. data severely violate the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates and deliver poor forecasts of future short rates. In contrast, shadow-rate DTSMs account for the ZLB by construction, capture the resulting distributional asymmetry of future short rates, and achieve good forecast performance. These models provide more accurate estimates of the most likely path for future monetary policy—including the timing of policy liftoff from the ZLB and the pace of subsequent policy tightening. We also demonstrate the benefits of including macroeconomic factors in a shadow-rate DTSM when yields are constrained near the ZLB.

Article Citation

Rudebusch, Glenn D., and Michael Bauer. 2013. “Monetary Policy Expectations at the Zero Lower Bound,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2013-18. Available at

About the Author
Michael Bauer
Michael Bauer is a senior research advisor in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and research fellow at CEPR. Learn more about Michael Bauer