Jonas Heese

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Jonas Heese is an assistant professor of business administration in the Accounting & Management Unit. He teaches the Financial Reporting and Control course in the MBA required curriculum.

Jonas Heese is an assistant professor of business administration in the Accounting & Management Unit. He teaches the Financial Reporting and Control course in the MBA required curriculum.

In his research, Professor Heese focuses on the political economy of regulatory enforcement of accounting standards in the United States, and specifically on the preferences of regulators and the reaction of firms to these preferences. He has explored these ideas in the context of the Securities and Exchange Commission and of agencies that regulate the health-care industry. 

Professor Heese holds a Ph.D. and an M.Sc. in accounting from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Working Papers

  1. Regulator Leniency and Mispricing in Beneficent Nonprofits

    Jonas Heese, Ranjani Krishnan and Frank Moers

    We posit that nonprofits that provide a greater supply of unprofitable services (beneficent nonprofits) face lenient regulatory enforcement for mispricing in price-regulated markets. Consequently, beneficent nonprofits exploit such regulatory leniency and exhibit higher mispricing. Drawing on organizational legitimacy theory, we argue that both regulators and beneficent nonprofits seek to protect their legitimacy with stakeholders, including those who demand access to unprofitable services. Using data from hospitals, we examine mispricing via "upcoding", which involves misclassifying ailment severity. Archival analysis indicates less stringent regulatory enforcement of upcoding for beneficent nonprofit hospitals, defined as hospitals that provide higher charity care and medical education. After observing regulator leniency, beneficent hospitals demonstrate higher upcoding. Our results suggest that lenient enforcement assists beneficent nonprofits to obtain higher revenues in price-regulated markets.

    Keywords: Regulator leniency; nonprofit organizations; beneficence; mispricing; upcoding; Nonprofit Organizations; Fairness; Revenue;

    Citation:

    Heese, Jonas, Ranjani Krishnan, and Frank Moers. "Regulator Leniency and Mispricing in Beneficent Nonprofits." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-056, January 2015. View Details
  2. Government Preferences and SEC Enforcement

    Jonas Heese

    I examine whether political pressure by the government as a response to voters' general interest in protecting employment is reflected in the enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Using labor intensity as a measure for a firm's contribution to employment, I find that labor-intensive firms are less likely to be subject to an SEC enforcement action. Next, I show that labor-intensive firms are less likely to face an SEC enforcement action in presidential election years if they are located in politically important states. I also find evidence of a lower likelihood of SEC enforcement for labor-intensive firms that are headquartered in districts of senior congressmen that serve on committees that oversee the SEC. All of these results hold after controlling for firms' accounting quality and two alternative explanations for firms' favorable treatment by the SEC, i.e., firms' location and political contributions. These findings suggest that voters' interests drive political pressure on SEC enforcement—independent of firms' lobbying for their special interests.

    Keywords: Political Elections; Accounting; Government Administration; Labor; United States;

    Citation:

    Heese, Jonas. "Government Preferences and SEC Enforcement." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-054, December 2014. View Details