spacer

Biographic sketch

I was born on December 10, 1959 in Milan, where I lived (with the exception of one year ''wasted'' after high school in the Italian Army) until the end of my graduate studies at Bocconi University in 1985. I graduated under the supervision of Professor Mario Monti with a thesis on the effects of wage subsidies on unemployment. After graduation I seriously considered the possibility to become an alpine guide also because, while teaching ski-mountaineering in the Milan Alpine Club school, I met my future wife Simonetta: mountains seemed to have much better things to offer than economics.

Perhaps unfortunately, however, my advisor convinced me to apply for a Ph.D. program in the US and I was admitted at MIT, in Cambridge (USA). It was hard to give up this opportunity, and, contemporaneously, the mountains had been giving a very un-welcoming signal in the form of a bad avalanche accident. Moreover, Simonetta received a very attractive offer from the Harvard School of Public Health (on the other side of the Charles river with respect to MIT) which allowed her to continue in a wonderful environment her research on the relationship between diet and cancer. The possibility to go together to the US, working in two of the best research institutions in the world, looked really like ''un segno della Provvidenza''.

The four years in Cambridge were a tough but terrific experience that gave me new tools and new passion for research in labor economics, lots of friends now scattered everywhere in the world and the first child Matteo, born in 1989. The decision to come back to Italy after the Doctoral graduation in 1990 (with a thesis on flexible compensation as a risk-sharing device under the supervision of Prof. Robert Gibbons) was not an easy one. The possibility to continue the US experience was really attractive from a professional point of view, but Italy was at least equally attractive along several other dimensions, including child raising which was expected not to be irrelevant (and the expectation was rational as the events later showed ...).

The contemporaneous foundation of two new research institutions in Milan induced the decision to come back: the IGIER research center at Bocconi University, started by Prof. Francesco Giavazzi with the goal of attracting to Italy economists with a foreign Ph.D., and the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, which was searching experts in epidemiological studies of diet and cancer. These joint opportunities gave a forceful sign that it was time to come back from the States.

From 1990 until 1997, I have been teaching and doing research at IGIER, Bocconi University, while Simonetta has worked at IEO, succeeding, at the same time, to give birth to 3 more children, Martina in 1990, Lucia in 1992 and Giacomo in 1997 (do not worry: we know what contraceptives are ...). Both parents also managed to maintain some contact with the Alps, most often bringing along the entire crew (which so far has not complained).

The experience as a Jean Monnet Fellow during 1997 clearly showed that EUI was a wonderful environment where to do research and teach. Very luckily, Florence also proved convenient for the working opportunities of Simonetta, at the local Istituto per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica (ISPO), and needless to say it appeared optimal for the kids. The decision to accept the EUI offer and to stay in Fiesole for a longer term was therefore an easy one this time, even if ski-mountaineering is less easy and had to be turned into ... mountain biking and sailing. Actually sailing in the Bilancino Lake (FJ, Laser, 470) and in the Mediterranean became a new family passion with which everybody fell in love. The passion culminated in the recent acquisition of one third of Pandora, a Sun Odissey 37, which we share with close friends.

In October 2006, the term at EUI came to its natural end, but Tuscany has too many pleasures to offer, including another new family activity: olive oil growing at the Fangaccia!

Nobody in the family wanted to move (at least at that time ... now Matteo, Martina and Lucia are gone respectively at the Universities of Southampton, Padova and S. Raffaele in Milan), and therefore I had to search for a suitable job nearby. I was very lucky to be accepted in the Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche of the University of Bologna where I found another wonderful environment of colleagues and students.  No more biking to and from work, though: this is what I regret the most.

 

spacer