It seems that digging up previous economic theoretical/analytical breakthroughs via Nobel Prize in Economic profiles isn't all for naught:
My John Hicks/Kenneth Arrow executive summary profile was particularly instructional for me. Turns out that this is also the case for others. Their brilliant work was recently referenced by Mr. Paul Krugman.
Say that again?
As recently as two days ago, Paul Krugman made a macroeconomic analysis (John Hicks take ) reference in his New York Times blog.
Krugman cited Hick's take on the general equilibrium theory (specifically - discussing the way Hicks transformed the theory into a practical tool - and how his take on it plays into measuring an equilibrium between a national economy's commodity-based supply and demand...given, let's say - interest rate fluctuations and other dynamic variables that can be thrown into the mix...as neatly presented via Hicks' IS-LM model).
The more I learn about past influential economists like Hicks, the more I understand how valuable economists' take on how economies function really is.
Economists have been shedding light on how the world works, in very different ways: financially, sociologically, behaviorally, even philosophically.
An economist isn't responsible for having things work out a certain way. There's always too much at stake, and the outcome tied to random, non-linear variables is not only difficult to measure, but also impossible to predict.
Still, economists help us understand the economic ghost in the machine that makes this complex world function.
For now, macroeconomic analysis has turned out to be pretty spot on.