He has two bachelor's degrees, in economics and law, from 1990 and 1991 at the Universidad de Valladolid. In 1992 he earned a master's degree in European economic studies from the College of Europe in Belgium. He also has a master's degree and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. He was on faculty at the Booth School of Business from 1998 to 2007, when he joined the LSE. He has additionally worked as an economist for the European Commission.
He was one of the founding editors of NadaesGratis.es, which is the most widely read economics blog in Spanish. He has written a book about the Spanish economy called "El dilema de España".