Born in Bari in 1958, he lived there until 1977, when he obtained his scientific high school diploma. He graduated with honours in 1982 in Political Economy from Bocconi University. Between 1982 and 1991 he lived in Milan, working at the Bocconi Study Centre for internationalisation processes, the Institute for social research and the ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies). At that time he held seminars at the same university, and taught at the “C. Alfieri” Political Science faculty of the University of Florence as well as at the Libero Istituto “Carlo Cattaneo” (LIUC) in Castellanza (VA). Back living in Bari from 1991, he taught at the University of Foggia and in the faculties of Economics and Political Science at the University of Bari. He was professor from 2001, adjunct professor from 2005 and full professor in Applied Economics in the Political Science department the University of Bari.
He conducted intense research into economics, also in collaboration with national and international research institutions. He has carried out research into many aspects of the Italian and international economy: the problems of foreign trade, of multinationals, of technology transfer, of research and development; into the development of various industrial sectors; into local development models and industrial districts; into the development of underdeveloped areas in Italy and Europe; into the policies of the European Union, with special reference to cohesion policies.
He has worked on several occasions with the OECD, the World Bank and UNIDO (in different foreign countries, particularly in Latin America and in Asia), and often with the Italian government, regional governments and local institutions on the definition of local and regional development policies. He has held conferences and lessons in many European countries as well as in Japan, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
In 1997-98 he was a member of the Committee of expert economists for the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. In 1998-2000 he was economic advisor to Fabrizio Barca, head of the Department for development and cohesion policies of the Ministry of Finance, budget and economic planning. In 1999 he chaired the committee for drawing up the National employment action plan. From 2006 to 2009 he was chairman of ARTI, the Agency for technology and Innovation of the Regional Authority of Puglia. From July 2009 to April 2010 he was Regional Authority of Puglia councillor for the South of Italy and for the Right to study. Chairman of the Fiera del Levante from 2011 to 2013
He is a member of the “Il Mulino” association. He regularly writes in collaboration with “Il Mattino” and “Il Messaggero” newspapers. He has been a columnist for “Il Sole 24 Ore”, “Avvenire”, and "Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno” newspapers.