The quantum interest conjecture of Ford and Roman asserts that any negative-energy pulse must necessarily be followed by an over-compensating positive-energy one within a certain maximum time delay. Furthermore, the minimum amount of over-compensation increases with the separation between the pulses. In this paper, we first study the case of a negative-energy square pulse followed by a positive-energy one for a minimally coupled, massless scalar field in two-dimensional Minkowski space. We obtain explicit expressions for the maximum time delay and the amount of over-compensation needed, using a previously developed eigenvalue approach. These results are then used to give a proof of the quantum interest conjecture for massless scalar fields in two dimensions, valid for general energy distributions.