Luigi Zingales' research interests span from corporate governance to financial development, from political economy to the economic effects of culture. He co-developed the Financial Trust Index, which is designed to monitor the level of trust that Americans have toward their financial system. In addition to holding his position at Chicago Booth, Zingales is currently a faculty research fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow for the Center for Economic Policy Research, and a fellow of the European Governance Institute. He is also the director of the Stigler Center at the University of Chicago and an editorialist for Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian equivalent of the Financial Times. Zingales also serves on the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, which has been examining the legislative, regulatory, and legal issues affecting how public companies function.
His research has earned him the 2003 Bernácer Prize for the best young European financial economist, the 2002 Nasdaq award for best paper in capital formation, and a National Science Foundation Grant in economics. His work has been published in the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance and the American Economic Review.
His book, Saving Capitalism from Capitalists, coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan, has been acclaimed as "one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written" by Bruce Bartlett of National Review Online. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times called it "an important book." His latest book is A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity (Basic Books; June 2012)
Born in Italy, a country with high inflation and unemployment which has inspired his professional interests as an economist, Zingales carries with him a political passion and the belief that economists should not just interpret the world, they should change it for the better. Commenting on his method of teaching on a few very important lessons rather than a myriad of details, Zingales says, "Twenty years from now they might have forgotten all the details of my course, but hopefully they will not have forgotten the way of thinking."
Zingales received a bachelor's degree in economics summa cum laude from Università Bocconi in Italy in 1987 and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1992.