In the 1970s, he was a part of the student activist movement in Brazil, and was arrested and tortured. He has a bachelor's degree in Economics from University of São Paulo and a Ph.D in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He has served the Brazilian government by taking part in the crafting of the Plano Real; more specifically, he was one of the creators of the Unidade Real de Valor, a non-monetary currency and the most sophisticated and theoretical piece of the Plano Real. In 1995, he served as the president of the Central Bank of Brazil and Special Secretary of Social-Economic Coordination, Ministry of Planning. In the private sector, he was a board member of Banco Itaú Holding Financeira S.A. and Banco Itaú S.A., board member of Sul-América S.A, director of Opportunity Asset Management Ltda., board member of Unibanco S.A. and special adviser for the presidency and director of Brasil Warrant Ltd. Since the 1970s, he has also worked as an economic and financial consultant.
Personally, he is also a fan of classical music.
- Arida, Pérsio (1983), Social differentiation and economic theory, Texto para discussão (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. Departamento de Economia), no. 58., Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Economia, OCLC 13360329
- Arida, Pérsio (1984), Economic stabilization in Brazil, Working papers (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars., no. 149., Latin American Program, the Wilson Center, OCLC 13144128
- Arida, Pérsio (2005) , Essays of Brazilian stabilization programs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, OCLC 283913814
- Gala, Paulo; Rego, José Márcio; Arida, Pérsio (2003), A história do pensamento econômico como teoria e retórica : ensaios sobre metodologia em economia, Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-267-4
- "A DAY IN THE DECLINE OF THE DOLLAR: RIO DE JANEIRO; The Central Banker - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1995-04-24. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "Economista do Ano 2008". Economistadoano.org.br. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "Persio Arida | Blavatnik School of Government". www.bsg.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
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