Congratulations to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims for the 2011 economics Nobel. Marginal Revolution has developed a well-deserved reputation for go-to commentary on the Nobel; see Alex’s overview, Tyler’s comments on Sargent, and Tyler’s comments on Sims. Note also the Tyler points out Sargent’s work in economic history (his “small change” book with Francois Velde is a particularly good example of economic history).
Both gentlemen work in empirical macro, an area in which I have no expertise. But I have always found Sargent’s work in particular valuable because he has delved into the micro-foundations of aggregate phenomena (including subjective expectations, adaptation, and learning), and to me seems to push beyond the representative agent macro models that are so justly criticized.