Academics and research analysts in financial economics frequently use returns on government bonds for their empirical analyses. In the United States, government bonds are also called Treasury bonds. The Federal Reserve publishes the yield-to-maturity of Treasury bonds. However, the Treasury bond returns earned by investors are not publicly available. The purpose of this study is to provide these currently not publicly available return series and provide formulas such that these series can easily be updated by researchers. We use standard textbook formulas to convert the yield-to-maturity data to investor returns. The starting date of our series is January 1962, when end-of-month data on the yield-to-maturity become publicly available. We compare our newly created total return series with alternative series that can be purchased. Our return series are very close, suggesting that they are a high-quality public alternative to commercially available data.

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Keywords Bonds, Government bonds, Interest rate, Investment, Returns, Treasury, Yield
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Journal Data
Swinkels, L.A.P. (2019). Treasury bond return data starting in 1962. Data, 4(3). doi:10.3390/data4030091