I was born in Lecce (Italy) where I spent my first eighteen years. Then I moved to Milan where I met Paola and I got my laurea at the Universita' "L. Bocconi", final dissertation on Wage differentials between Private and Public sectors. I worked as a researcher at the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti (FRDB) in Milan, with Tito Boeri.
My PhD is in development, labor economics, applied microeconometrics, main advisor Richard Blundell, at the Department of Economics of the University College London.
Paola and I got married in Hackney, London, on May 4, 2006.
In July 2006 I joined the Department of Economics at Stanford University. From August 2010 to July 2011 I have been on leave at UC-Berkeley. From August 2012 to June 2013 I have been on leave at Columbia University as the Wesley Mitchell visiting professor. And a regular visitor of the NY-Fed.
Since June 2013 I am a Research Professor of ICREA-MOVE, Barcelona GSE and UAB. In September 2014 I joined the NY-Fed as a Senior Economist. Since September 2016 I am a Professor of Economics at the GSEM-University of Geneva. As of February 2018 I am a Visiting Professor at UC-Irvine.
In January of 2015 I was appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association.
I am currently working on: Household behavior; Firms' growth in less developed countries; Education; Climate and development; Risk sharing and consumption insurance; Business literacy and formalization; Indirect and general equilibrium effects of aid policies; Demand estimation; Social interactions; Consumption inequality, Migration; Evaluation of ALMP’s.
My work has appeared, among other outlets, in the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, the AEJ: Applied, the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Economic Journal, the Review of Economic Dynamics.
I am the winner, with M. Pellizzari, of the 2014 Royal Economic Society Prize for the Best paper published in the Economic Journal; and the winner, with A. Drenik and E. Seira, of the 2020 Banamex Prize.
I teach Development Economics, Labor Economics, Economics of Human Resources, Advanced Econometrics.
I am an expert consultant for the IFC, IFPRI, the World Bank among others.