Researchers, libraries and other institutions use authority files in order to make it easier to identify individual persons or institutions. The use of authority files helps to identify the right person if you have two or more people who share the same name (e.g. John Smith born in 1950 versus John Smith born in 1972 or John Smith, the economist, versus John Smith, the dancer). On the other hand authority files are used to bring together publications by one author whose publications appear under different names e.g. due to marriage or due to different spellings in different languages, common spelling mistakes, use of initials etc. (e.g. William D. Nordhaus, W. D. Nordhaus, U. Nordchauz, W. Nordhaus, William Nordhaus Weilian Nuodehaosi, 威廉 诺德豪斯).
EconBiz Author Profiles can be used to find more information on specific authors. Authors themselves can use it to see how others make use of named entities or linked data.
Here you can find more information on how to use EconBiz Author Profiles and FAQ.