Dr Liam John

Dr Liam John Lenten

Dr Lenten is currently Lead CI of an external grant of $130,000 (IOC Anti-Doping Research Fund, 2017-2019, with Ralph Bayer).

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, and subsequently completed his PhD thesis in 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.). This agenda has resulted in many prestigious publications and citations; research grants; and media interest (print, radio and television). 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, cultural economics

Sport policy

- Strategy, behaviour and incentives

Teaching units

  • Recessions, Inflation and Economic Growth (ECO1RIG)
  • Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Growth (ECO2MFG)
  • Quantitative Macroeconomis Models  (ECO4QMM)


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

Recent publications

Lenten, L. J. A. and McKenzie, J. (2018) “The Times They Are A-Changin’: On the Ephemeral Nature of Music Polls”, Economic Record, forthcoming, DOI: 10.1111/1475-4932.12370. [2013 ABDC Rank, A]

Lenten, L. J. A., Smith, A. C. T. and Boys, N. (2018) “Evaluating an Alternative Draft Pick Allocation Policy to Reduce ‘Tanking’ in the Australian Football League”, European Journal of Operational Research, 267(1), 315-320. [A*]

Lenten, L. J. A., Smith, A. C. T. and Bayer, R-C. (2017) “Adding Conditional Superannuation to the Anti-Doping Policy Mix”, Journal of Sport Management, 31(6), 591-604. [A*]

Friesl, M., Lenten, L. J. A., Libich, J. and Stehlík, P. (2017) “In Search of Goals: Increasing Ice Hockey’s Attractiveness by a Sides-Swap”, Journal of the Operational Research Society, 68(9), 1006-1018. [A]

Lenten, L. J. A. (2017) “Racial Discrimination in Umpire Voting: An (Arguably) Unexpected Result”, Applied Economics, 49(37), 3751-3757. [A]

Lenten, L. J. A. (2017) “A Formal Test for Asymmetry in the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis”, Journal of Sports Economics, 18(3), 253-270. [B]

Kendall, G. and L. J. A. (2017) “When Sports Rules Go Awry”, European Journal of Operational Research, 257(2), 377-394. [A*]

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. [A]

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. [A]

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. [A]

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


Download Resume

Older publications


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

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

Research projects

"Sentiment and Bias in Performance Evaluation by Impartial Arbitrators" (solo)

“A Comparison of Anti-doping Measures in Sporting Contests”, (with R-C. Bayer and Q. Wu, Adelaide)

“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)

“Social Media Followers as Music Fans: Analysis of a Music Poll Event”, (with P. Crosby and J. McKenzie, Macquarie)

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

"Familial Reputation, Bias, and Impartial Arbitrators: A Natural Experiment" (with M. Stewart and A. Barake, RMIT)