Leslie Young, the executive director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Business and professor of finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, will deliver a pair of economic addresses during a visit to Lawrence University.

Young presents “The Optimal God: Religion and the Institutional Foundations of Capitalism,” Wednesday Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 2 at 4:30 p.m., Young will present “China and India in the World Economy.” Both presentations will be held in Lawrence’s Science Hall, Room 102 and are free and open to the public.

In his opening address, Young will compare and contrast the Western and Eastern models of political economy that developed from the influences of Christianity and Islam. According to Young, politics and religion overlapped in the West because the Church competed for resources. Religion, in turn, became the bridge over which law came to limit politics. Under Islam, law emerged from religion as a control on personal behavior, leaving politics as a separate entity that was able to oppress the economy with no restrictions on tyranny and expropriation.

Young’s second talk will focus on the medium and long-term effects of the growth of China and India on the world economy. In tracing the balance of payment problems between the United States and China to their demographic structures, he will explain why China’s growing impact on the global environment could ultimately harm its own economic development.

A native of Guangzhou, China, Young’s research interests focus on international trade, political economy and corporate governance. He has served as a consultant to the governments of Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand and has been a long-time member of the editorial board of the American Economic Review, the leading academic journal in economics.

Young, who earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Oxford University by the age of 20, spent nine years on the faculty at the University of Texas as the V.F. Neuhaus Professor of Finance and Professor of Economics. He also has taught at the University of Canterbury in New Zeeland and held visiting professorships at the Australian National University in Canberra as well as at M.I.T. and the University of California, Berkeley.

He is the author of the book “Black Hole Tariffs and Endogenous Redistribution Theory” and co-editor of “The Hong Kong Securities Industry” and “China’s Financial Markets.”

Young’s appearance is sponsored by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee and the Henry Luce Foundation Program in the Political Economy of East Asia.