Yin studied history at Chinese Culture University. He received a master's degree in Business at the National Taiwan University in 1982 and a Ph.D in Business at the National Chengchi University in 1986. In 2004, Yin was named fellow of the Chinese Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering. In 2008, he was invited to join Russia's International Academy of Engineering and also awarded the Engineering Prowess Medal, the academy's highest honour. In 2010, Yin received the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research by the prestigious American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for his contribution in the area of construction Technology research. He was the first person without an academic background in engineering to receive the award.
Yin established the Tang Prize in December 2012. The prize is touted as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The mission of the prize is to promote research that is beneficial to the world and humankind, promote Chinese culture and make the world a better place. The prize pays out the equivalent of 1.7 million USD in categories of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and the "rule of law”.