Bachelor of Economics (with Honours, 1978) and Law degree (1979) from the University of Barcelona, he earned his Ph.D. in Public Economics from the University of York (United Kingdom, Ph.D. 1984). He has taught at the University of Barcelona, and has been visiting scholar at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (UK), University of Sussex and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University (USA).
Since June 1992 he is Professor of Economics at the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona. He has been deputy rector of Economics and International Relations and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the same university between 2000 and 2004. In 1996 he co-founded, along with Vicente Ortún, the Centre for Research in Health and Economics (CRES -UPF), an institution that he run until 2006. He is currently Senior Research Fellow and member of the Governing Council of the same centre. He is co-director of the Master of Public Management (UPF -UAB - EAPC) and the Master of Health Economics & Policy of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE).
His main research interests include the measurement of the efficiency of the public sector, the changing role of the public sector in general (and in the health sector in particular), fiscal balances, the financing of local government finances, health economics, dependency and intergenerational balances.
Since 2005 he is an independent adviser of the Governing Council of the Bank of Spain and member of the Advisory Council for Economic Recovery and Growth (CAREC). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Health (since 2000) and the Departments of Health of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands (from 2001). He was President of the International Health Economics Association (IHEA) between 2007 and 2011 and has also served as an expert adviser for the World Health Organization (WHO) on health inequalities in the European Union.