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Justin Yifu Lin
JustinYifuLin Portrait.jpg
Born (1952-10-15) October 15, 1952 (age 61)
Yilan County, Taiwan
Nationality Chinese
PRC from 1979
ROC till 1979
Institution World Bank
Peking University
Field Political economy
Alma mater University of Chicago
Peking University
National Chengchi University
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 and former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank.[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 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 (Commencement 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 978-0-691-15589-5 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  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. Beijing, China: 爱思想网(http://www.aisixiang.com). (Chinese)
  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) (Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China: 中華民國文化研究學會 (Cultural Studies Association of ROC)) (16). (Chinese)

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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78 news items


Focus Taiwan News Channel
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:23:04 -0700

Justin Yifu Lin said he appreciated the passion and organizational skills of the Taiwanese students protesting against the trade-in-services pact with China, but suggested that people who genuinely care about Taiwan should pay careful attention to what ...


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:03:45 -0700

The renminbi is expected to become one of three global reserve currencies by 2030 on a par with the US dollar and euro. Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank, made the remarks at a panel discussion on ...

People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:15:00 -0700

"Internet finance, in a way, could help China to boost GDP growth, but it does not have unlimited power," said Economist Justin Yifu Lin at a heated debate during the Boao Forum for Asia 2014. This year, Internet finance has grabbed the limelight; it ...


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:22:30 -0700

Yan said the end goal of the mechanism will be to design a platform to give internet banking fair comeptition with regular banking business. Justin Yifu Lin, former senior vice president of the World Bank, said internet banking will boost China's GDP ...
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:41:15 -0700

Justin Yifu Lin, former chief economist for the World Bank, recently added his thoughts on a global super currency, noting that everyone is looking for monetary stability at the global level. The post dollar dominated world is already being debated by ...
The Southern Times
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:07:30 -0700

"We need to learn the lessons of proactive governments in the 1960s and 1970s in Africa," says Justin Yifu Lin, a former chief economist at the World Bank. "They introduced all kinds of distortions and wanted to build up large-scale industry in poor ...
South China Morning Post
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 10:03:45 -0700

Justin Yifu Lin, a former chief economist of the World Bank, said internet finance was an excellent tool to help ease grass-roots inequality but sounded a word of caution to those who see it as a cure-all for the slowing economy. "Internet finance ...


Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:11:15 -0700

The signing of a service trade pact between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will benefit Taiwan's economy, former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank Justin Yifu Lin said on Wednesday. "Those who are truly concerned with the ...

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