Born in Cervia (Ravenna) on 7 September 1961, he graduated with honours in Economics and Business from the University of Modena in 1985. After a year spent as research officer at Prometeia, he continued his postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics until 1992, obtaining an M.Sc. in Economics in 1988. In June 1992 he joined the Bank of Italy’s Economic Research Department. From 2007 to 2012 he was the head of the Economic Structure and Labour Market Division in the Department for Structural Economic Analysis. Since June 2015, he is the head of the Statistical Analysis Directorate.

He represented the Bank of Italy in the Poverty Commissions established by Italian governments (1994-2007) and in the Working Group on Minimum Income at the Minister of Labour and Social Policies (2013). He chaired the Istat Commission on the absolute poverty methodology (2006-09) and he is a member of the Istat’s Scientific Committee on the Measurement of Well-Being (since 2011). He was the Italian representative in the Luxembourg Income Study, where he sat in the Executive Board (1997-2009) and directed with Timothy M. Smeeding the Luxembourg Wealth Study, a pilot project aimed at constructing a harmonised cross-national database of micro information on household wealth (2004-07). He is a member of the World Bank Commission on Global Poverty (since 2015).

He chaired the council of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) and sat in the council of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ). He is a fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) and a policy fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). He is associate editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality and a member of the editorial boards of the Review of Income and Wealth, the Italian Economic Journal and Politica economica–Journal of Economic Policy. He is a founder of the Italian demography website

He has published papers on the analysis of poverty and income and wealth distribution, the measurement of well-being, issues in labour economics, and the history of economic thought (for a partial list, see He co-edited, with S.P. Jenkins, J. Micklewright and B. Nolan, The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income (Oxford University Press, 2013).