Chinese economist Justin Yifu Lin is expected to be named as senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank by the end of this month, according to media reports.
Lin would replace French economist Francois Bourguignon, who retired in October, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The 56-year-old is co-founder and head of the Peking University's China Center for Economic Research (CCER).
If picked for the post, Lin will become the first economist from the developing world to hold it. The World Bank move is intended to increase the presence of the developing world in the bank's senior management, the WSJ report said.
Analysts see in Lin's candidacy a sign of China's increasing links with the bank. As the largest developing country, China has not only received loans from the World Bank, but has consistently shared its developing experiences with it, helping it to better carry out its aid programs around the world.
But Li Huafang, an economist with the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law, attributes the likely appointment more to Lin's outstanding career than the fact that he is a Chinese.
"Lin is one of the most important economists in China working on the rural economy," said Li. "He has put forward unconventional ideas that have helped policymaking for the rural economy."
With his focus on development and institutional economics, Lin is a suitable candidate for the World Bank post, said Lu Feng, economist at CCER.
Lin was born in Taiwan. He holds a master's degree in political economics from Peking University and obtained a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986. He conducted post-doctorate research at the Yale University in 1987. He has been a consultant to the World Bank since 1993.
(China Daily January 22, 2008)