Giavazzi graduated in electrical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano university in 1972 and obtained a PhD in economics from MIT in 1978 under the supervision of Rudi Dornbusch and Nobel Laureate Franco Modigliani.
In addition to being a professor at Bocconi University in Milan, he is a Research Fellow and a Trustee of CEPR, a member of the Strategic Committee of Agence France Trésor, and of the Group of Economic Policy Advisers to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. During 2004 he was the Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England. During the D´Alema government (1998-2000) he was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers to the Italian prime minister. He was Director General of the Italian Treasury responsible for debt management and privatizations from 1992 to 1994.
From 1991 to 1999 he was an editor of the European Economic Review. He is also well known for his editorials in Italy's leading daily Corriere della Sera. He contributes to the economics web sites Voxeu.org and LaVoce.info.