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This article is about the economist. For the director, see Justin Lin. For the murder victim nicknamed Justin Lin, see Lin Jun.
Justin Yifu Lin
JustinYifuLin Portrait.jpg
Born (1952-10-15) October 15, 1952 (age 62)
Yilan County, Taiwan
Nationality Chinese
PRC from 1979
ROC till 1979
Institution World Bank
Peking University
Field Political economy
Alma mater Republic of China Military Academy(Infantry)
National Chengchi University(MA)
Peking University(MA)
University of Chicago(PhD)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Justin Yifu Lin (Chinese: 林毅夫; pinyin: Lín Yìfū), born on October 15, 1952, in Yilan County, Taiwan, as Zhengyi Lin, (simplified Chinese: 林正义; traditional Chinese: 林正義; pinyin: Lín Zhèngyì) is a Chinese economist.

Lin is a former Taiwanese military officer who defected to the PRC in 1979 with sensitive military documents. With support from the Chinese Communist Party he was made a professor at Peking University, founded the China Center for Economic Research and was appointed Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank where he served from 2008 to 2010.[1]


Career and education[edit]

Lin is the founder and first director of the China Center for Economic Research and a former professor of economics at Peking University and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received an MBA degree from National Chengchi University in 1978, a Master's degree in political economy from Peking University in 1982, and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986.

He was one of the first PRC citizens to receive a PhD in economics from Chicago,[2] and is a leading Chinese economist; he serves as a consultant to major international organizations and is on the editorial board of several international academic economics journals.

On September 16, 2008, Fordham University honored Justin Yifu Lin a reception for his being chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank.[3]

He received an Honorary Doctorate from Fordham in 2009[4] and was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy in 2010. His 2012 book, The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off, argued for an active role for government in nurturing development, not just through the traditional provision of infrastructure and legal enforcement, but also by identifying and actively supporting industries that contribute to growth.[5]


Justin Yifu Lin and his wife at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2009

In 1976 Lin entered the MBA program at National Chengchi University in Taiwan on a defense scholarship and returned to the army upon receiving his MBA in 1978. As a captain in the Republic of China Army in Taiwan, he defected to Mainland China on May 17, 1979, to the nearby island of Xiamen of Mainland China with sensitive materials. Lin left his pregnant wife and his three-year-old child in Taiwan; a year after he defected, he was declared "missing" by the ROC Army and his wife claimed the equivalent of US$31,000 from the government.[6] His wife and their children joined him years later when both of them went to study in the United States.[7] While an officer in the ROC Army, Lin was held up as a model soldier; after his desertion, the ROC originally listed him as missing but in 2000 issued an order for his arrest on charges of defection.[8]

In a letter written to his family in Taiwan about a year after his defection, Lin stated that "based on my cultural, historical, political, economic and military understanding, it is my belief that returning to the motherland is a historical inevitability; it is also the optimal choice."[6][9] A National Taiwan University alumnus Hongsheng Zheng (鄭鴻生) confirmed Lin's reason and motive.[10] Lin's oldest brother said it was unfair to brand his younger brother a traitor. "I don't understand why people regard him as a villain," he said. "My brother just wanted to pursue his ambitions."[7]


  1. ^ http://www.eeo.com.cn/ens/2012/0605/227701.shtml
  2. ^ 凤凰网财经人物 (Phoenix Television: The People of Financial Circles), "林毅夫详细资料 (resume of Lin, Yifu)"[1], Phoenix Television, 2010. (Chinese)
  3. ^ Howe, Bob (October 14, 2008). "Chief World Bank Economist Honored by Fordham". Inside Fordham University online. Lincoln Center Campus New York, NY 10023: Fordham University. 
  4. ^ Teagle, Melanie (2009). "One Hundred Sixty Fourth Annual Commencement". UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT. Lincoln Center Campus New York, NY 10023: Fordham University. 
  5. ^ Lin, Justin Yifu (2012). The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off Justin Yifu Lin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15589-0. 
  6. ^ a b Jennifer Chou: World Bank's Chief Economist Swam to China?, The Weekly Standard, February 11, 2008
  7. ^ a b "Justin Lin's wife pays her respects". Taipei Times. 2002-06-04. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  8. ^ "World Bank economist risks arrest if he visits". Taipei Times. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  9. ^ 林毅夫 (Justin Yifu Lin) (1980). "给表兄李建兴的信 (A letter to elder cousin Jianxing Li)". Published on Oct-18-2010 (in Chinese). Beijing, China: 爱思想网(http://www.aisixiang.com). 
  10. ^ 鄭鴻生 (Zheng, Hongsheng) (June 15, 2002). "青年林正義之路 (The Road Taken by Youth Zhengyi Lin)". 文化研究月報 (Monthly Cultural Studies). 三角公園 (Triangle Park) (in Chinese) (Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China: 中華民國文化研究學會 (Cultural Studies Association of ROC)) (16). 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
François Bourguignon
World Bank Chief Economist
Succeeded by
Kaushik Basu

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Yifu_Lin — Please support Wikipedia.
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1488 news items

Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:07:30 -0700

Signatories include Nobel Laureates Joseph E. Stiglitz, Kenneth Arrow, Alvin Roth, Vernon L. Smith and Christopher Pissarides; the current and former chief economists of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu and Justin Yifu Lin; noted health economists Anne ...
Project Syndicate
Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:50:13 -0800

BEIJING – All low-income countries have the potential for dynamic economic growth. We know this because we have seen it happen repeatedly: a poor, agrarian economy transforms itself into a middle- or even high-income urban economy in one or two ...
Project Syndicate
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:55:49 -0800

BEIJING – In the 35 years since China's transition to a market economy began, the country has grown at an average rate of 9.8% – an explosive and unprecedented rise. But there are signs that the Chinese miracle is coming to an end – or at least that ...
Project Syndicate
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:20:09 -0800

SINGAPORE – Infrastructure projects can be among the most productive investments a society can make, with clear links to a country's economic growth. For private investors, however, the situation is more complicated. Infrastructure projects can offer ...


Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:33:35 -0800

Justin Yifu Lin (1st L), a member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), answers questions during a press conference on major economic issues for the third session of the 12th CPPCC National ...

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Fri, 11 Sep 2015 12:23:31 -0700

That year Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank's chief economist, wrote an influential paper arguing that “government policies directed at affecting the economic structure of the economy” are necessary to restore economic growth and to shift countries out ...
Sun, 20 Sep 2015 05:11:15 -0700

Other signatories include: Nobel Laureates Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Arrow, Alvin Roth, Vernon Smith and Christopher Pissarides; the current and former chief economists of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu and Justin Yifu Lin; noted health economists Anne ...


Wed, 31 Dec 2014 10:33:45 -0800

Justin Yifu Lin is a former chief economist and senior vice-president at the World Bank, and is professor and honorary dean of the National School of Development, Peking University. He is also the founding director of the China Center for Economic ...

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