Macroeconomic Bond Risks and the Zero Lower Bound

Close-to-zero interest rates challenge standard economic models in which zero lower bound (ZLB) is absent. We estimate a recursive utility model which features time-varying latent expected real growth, expected inflation, and stochastic inflation volatility. Using an approximate solution to bond prices, we show that the ZLB model successfully captures interest rates in a ZLB period, without a deterioration in fit to rates in normal times. Incorporating ZLB lowers the estimates of expected inflation and increases inflation volatility. It leads to large, negative and volatile shadow rates, large and volatile shadow risk premia, and small and volatile lift-off probabilities.

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