Dr Liam John

Dr Liam John Lenten

Senior Lecturer, Economics

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

La Trobe Business School

Department of Economics and Finance

Martin Building 469, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

Centre for Sport and Social Impact


BEc(Hons1) La Trobe; MCom (Eco) Melb; PhD La Trobe



Membership of professional associations

Economics Society of Australia (Victorian Branch); Canadian Economics Association; North American Association of Sports Economists; Southern Economic Association; Western Economic Association

Area of study


Brief profile

Liam was appointed initially to the Department in 1997. Liam, a La Trobe undergraduate, was awarded the Dean's Medal after completing a first class honours Economics degree in 1995; and then a Master of Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne. Liam then undertook his PhD thesis from 1999-2005, which highlighted his interest in exchange rate determination models and macroeconomic cycles. However, his research more recently has centred more on sports economics, specifically rules, regulation, incentives and athlete behaviour; with an emphasis on various forms of cheating (doping, match-fixing, etc.). Liam has held visiting positions at: University of Michigan (US); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US); University of Otago (NZ); Lancaster University (UK); University of Exeter (UK) and Monash University. Liam was promoted to full lecturer in the Department of Economics and Finance in December 2002 and to senior lecturer in November 2007.

Research interests

Applied econometrics and forecasting

- Macroeconomics

Sport policy

- Strategy, behaviour and incentives

Teaching units

  • Recessions, Inflation and Economic Growth (ECO1RIG)
  • Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Growth (ECO2MFG)


Available for consulting, with experience in industry issues (particularly sport) and macroeconomic modelling.

Recent publications

Lenten, L. J. A. (2017) “Racial Discrimination in Umpire Voting: An (Arguably) Unexpected Result”, Applied Economics, forthcoming, DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1267848.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2017) “A Formal Test for Asymmetry in the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis”, Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming, DOI: 10.1177/1527002514567921.

with Kendall, G. (2017) “When Sports Rules Go Awry”, European Journal of Operational Research, 257(2), 377-394.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2016) “Mitigation of Perverse Incentives in Professional Sports Leagues with Reverse-Order Drafts”, Review of Industrial Organization, 49(1), 25-41.

Lenor, S., Lenten, L. J. A. and McKenzie, J. (2016) “Rivalry Effects and Unbalanced Schedule Optimisation in the Australian Football League”, Review of Industrial Organization, 49(1), 43-69.

Elkins, M. and Lenten, L. J. A. (2016) “Business, Commerce and the Global Financial System”, in Robertson, M. (ed.) Communicating, Networking, Interacting: The International Year of Global Understanding – IYGU, Springer, Jena, 53-59.

Lenten, L. J. A. and Winchester, N. (2015) “Secondary Behavioural Incentives: Bonus Points and Rugby Professionals”, Economic Record, 91(294), 386-398.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2015) “Measurement of Competitive Balance in Conference and Divisional Tournament Design”, Journal of Sports Economics, 16(1), 3-25.

Kidwell, D. S., Brimble, M., Lenten, L. J. A., Docherty, P., Mazzola, P. and Basu, A. (2014) Financial Markets, Institutions and Money (3rd edn.), John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton.

Lenten, L. J. A., Libich, J. and Stehlík, P. (2013) “Policy Timing and Footballers’ Incentives: Penalties Before or After Extra-Time?”, Journal of Sports Economics, 14(6), 629-655.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2012) “The Underdog Should Always Fire the First Salvo against Brazil”, Applied Economics Letters, 19(10), 935-938.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2012) “Comparing Attendances and Memberships in the Australian Football League: The Case of Hawthorn”, Economic and Labour Relations Review, 23(2), 23-38.

Lenten, L. J. A., Geerling, W. and Kónya, L. (2012) “A Hedonic Model of Player Wage Determination from the Indian Premier League Auction: Further Evidence”, Sport Management Review, 15(1), 60-71.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2012) “Henderson-Trending of Macroeconomic Variables and Forecasting Accuracy”, Journal of Forecasting, 31(1), 68-84.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2011) “Long-run Trends and Factors in Attendance Patterns in Sport: Australian Football League, 1945-2009”, in Cameron, S. Handbook on the Economics of Leisure, Edward-Elgar, Northampton, 360-380.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2011) “The Extent to Which Unbalanced Schedules Cause Distortions in Sports League Tables”, Economic Modelling, 28(1), 451-458.


Download Resume

Older publications


Lenten, L. J. A. (2010) “Bananas and Petrol: Further Evidence on the Forecasting Accuracy of the ABS ‘Headline’ and ‘Underlying’ Rates of Inflation”, Journal of Forecasting, 29(6), 556-572.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2009) “Unobserved Components in Competitive Balance and Match Attendances in the Australian Football League, 1945-2005: Where is all the Action Happening?”, Economic Record, 85(269), 181-196.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2009) “Towards a New Dynamic Measure of Competitive Balance: A Study Applied to Australia’s Two Major Professional ‘Football’ Leagues”, Economic Analysis and Policy, 39(3), 407-428.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2008) “Is the Decline in the Frequency of Draws in Test Match Cricket Detrimental to the Long Form of the Game?”, Economic Papers, 27(4), 364-380.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2008) “Unbalanced Schedules and the Estimation of Competitive Balance in the Scottish Premier League”, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 55(4), 488-508.

Lenten, L. J. A. and Rulli, D. N. (2006) “A Time-Series Analysis of the Demand for Life Insurance Companies in Australia: An Unobserved Components Approach”, Australian Journal of Management, 31(1), 41-66.

Lenten, L. J. A. and Moosa, I. A. (2003) “An Empirical Investigation into Long-Term Climate Change in Australia”, Environmental Modelling and Software, 18(1), 59-70.

Lenten, L. J. A. (2001) “The Profile of Labour Force Discouragement in Australia”, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 4(1), 3-17.

Lenten, L. J. A. and Moosa, I. A. (2000) “In Defence of Model-Based Seasonal Adjustment: An Illustration Using Australian Data”, Australian Economics Papers, 39(3), 372-392.

Lenten, L. J. A. and Moosa, I. A. (1999) “Modelling the Trend and Seasonality in the Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in the UK”, Applied Economics, 31(7), 795-804.

Research projects

“The Case in Favour of Adding Conditional Superannuation to the Anti-Doping Policy Mix”, (with R-C. Bayer, Adelaide and Q. Wu; and A. Smith, RMIT)

“Circumventing Perverse Incentives to Lose in Professional Sports: Experimental Evidence”, (with R-C. Bayer, Adelaide)

“Bonus Incentives and Leader Decision-making in a Competitive Environment”, (with N. Winchester, MIT)

“Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: The Ephemeral Nature of Music Tastes”, (with J. McKenzie, Macquarie)

“Effort-Exertion Timing in Elite-Level Tennis”, (with J. Reade, Reading)