Luigi Zingales, one of the leading economists of the world, was born on February 8, 1963 in Padua, Italy. In 1987, he received his bachelor’s degree in economics summa cum laude from Università Bocconi in Italy and later in 1992, he earned his PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1992 where he serves as the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance. He also serves as a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation which examines the legislative, regulatory, and legal issues affecting the functioning of public companies.
Zingales was also appointed as a Taussig Research Professor of Harvard University. He served as an Editorialist for “Il Sole 24 ore“ one of the leading Italian economic newspapers. Moreover, he was appointed as a Director of the American Finance Association, later in 2007, he served as an Independent Director of Telecom Italia Mobile S.p.A. He also serves as a member of the Committee on Capital Market Regulation as well as a member of the United Nation Advisory Board on Microfinance.
Born in a country riddled with the twin problems of inflation and unemployment, Luigi Zingales’ passion for economics stemmed from an in-depth analysis of the causes and effects of the circumstances around him. His zeal for politics and economics gave birth to the motive of combining both,not only to understand the situation of poverty in the world but also, to improve it for the better. He has done extensive research in the fields of corporate governance, financial development, political economy and the economic effects of culture. He is a co-developer of the Financial Trust Index, which serves the purpose of monitoring the level of trust that Americans show towards their financial system. In addition to serving at Chicago Booth, Zingales is also a research member for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a researcher for the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and also a researcher for the European Governance Institute. He also serves as the director of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago.
His book, Saving Capitalism from Capitalists, which he has coauthored along with Raghuram Rajan, has been described as “one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written” by the National Review Online and the Financial Times acclaimed it as “an important book.” His latest book, A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity published in 2012, has also won widespread acclaim. Zingales has contributed to countless scholarly and economic journals. His essays have been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance and the American Economic Review.
In 2002, his research won him Nasdaq award for best paper in capital formation. Later, in 2003, he was awarded Bernácer Prize for the best young European financial economist, and a National Science Foundation Grant in economics.
Luigi Zingales has also been an active philanthropist and supporter of many educational and global causes. In 2012, he participated in the ‘No-Brainer Economic Platform’ project of NPR’s program Planet Money. He supported a six-part reform plan that involved the removal of all American income, corporate, and payroll taxes as well as the war on drugs and replacing the system with a broad consumption tax.
In 2012, he made it to the list of FP Top 100 Global Thinkers published by the Foreign Policy Magazine. In addition to teaching and research, has a passion for food and cooking. He likes to spend his free time with his family.