Born in Catanzaro on 9 July 1960, he is married with three children. After graduating with honours in Economics and Business from the University of Naples in 1983, he obtained an MBA from the Istituto Adriano Olivetti (Ancona, 1984) and an M.Sc. in Economics with distinction, from the London School of Economics in 1986. He joined the Bank of Italy in 1984. After working for one year in the Supervision Department of the Milan branch, he joined the Research Department in Rome where he worked from 1986 to 1997 (also as Head of the Short Term Economic Outlook Unit and then of the Inflation and Labour Market Unit.

He left the Bank to take up an appointment as Economic Adviser to the Director General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (1997-1999) and Economic Adviser to the Italian Ministry of Labour (2000-2006). He returned to the Bank of Italy in July 2006 and was assigned to the Research and International Relations Area (also as Deputy Head of the Structural Economic Analysis Department).

As of January 2014 he is Head of the Bank's new Structural Economic Analysis Directorate.

In the course of his career, ha has also been appointed Commissioner and President of INVALSI - the Italian National Institute for the Evaluation of Training and Education (2012-2013) and, within the OECD, Chairman of the Board of the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (2008-2013), the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (2006 to 2008) and the Working Group on Employment (2001-2006).

He is the author of numerous articles on economics. His books are:

  • Il capitale sociale: cos'è e cosa spiega, co-edited with Guido De Blasio, Rome, Donzelli, 2011
  • I servizi pubblici locali: liberalizzazione, regolazione e sviluppo industriale, edited with Magda Bianco, Bologna, il Mulino, 2010.
  • Il capitale umano, with Piero Cipollone, Bologna, il Mulino, 2010.
  • Disoccupati in Italia, with Salvatore Pirrone, Bologna, il Mulino, 2006
  • Il mercato del lavoro in Italia: Com'è, come sta cambiando, Bari, Laterza, 2002.
  • Pensions Systems: Beyond Mandatory Retirement, co-edited with Elsa Fornero, Cheltenham (UK); Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar, 2005.
  • Taxation, Welfare and The Crisis of Unemployment in Europe, co-edited with Marco Buti and Hans Wijkander, Cheltenham (UK); Northampton (MA): Edward Elgar, 2001.
  • Le vie dello sviluppo: Dall'analisi del dualismo territoriale una proposta per il Mezzogiorno, with Giorgio Bodo, Bologna, il Mulino, 1991.