This study explores the interplay between public measures adopted by the U.S. government to combat COVID-19 and the performance of the American hospitality industry. The recent global pandemic is a natural experiment for exploring the role of government interventions and their direct impact on hospitality stock returns in the U.S. financial market. Overall, our findings show that most of the government interventions were associated with a negative response in the returns of the hospitality industry, a response that became more negative as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved. Similar patterns were also detected for other industries such as entertainment and transportation that are closely related to hospitality. The findings we document are fundamental to understanding the trends and fluctuations in hospitality stocks in the current crisis and any similar crisis in the future.
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