How To Hack #EconTwitter: A Resource Guide
The #EconTwitter is a community that economists, and economics enthusiasts alike, can turn to for a myriad of (sometimes questionable) takes and resources for professional success. The question I often get from those who choose to spend their time off the platform is whether its a good idea to make a Twitter account or, at the bare minimum, follow #EconTwitter. The short answer is yes and here are three reasons why:
1. #EconTwitter is actually a pretty friendly place.
Despite the bad rap the economics profession has had over the past three years, the #EconTwitter space is a relatively friendly community. Individuals respect each others opinions and take accountability for the actions (for the most part). Many economists and social scientists, more broadly, have cited #EconTwitter as a source of co-authorships and friendships would have otherwise not been had if the the hashtag and community not existed.
2. #EconTwitter gives us a glimpse into how diversity and inclusivity can shape economics for the better.
Interestingly enough, Black and Brown economists, specifically, are more recognized in the #EconTwitter space because of their following and how policy organizations engage with their work. And that fact allows them to share their ideas (and research) with more people thus impacting the discourse around particular issues that they are experts on. Whether or not that translates into press or citations is another story, but in the Twitter space, their perspectives are definitely amplified. Moreover, in recent history, the conversations that have amplified diversity and inclusion efforts in the economics profession began with #EconTwitter.
3. #EconTwitter can be an incredible resource for jobs, opportunities, co-authors, and everything in between.
As I mentioned before, many people have actually connected with collaborators on papers, projects, and other opportunities using the #EconTwitter community. There are some accounts, like @econ_ra, that posts regularly about research assistant opportunities that are oftentimes not promoted widely or on non-NBER jobs. I honestly made a Twitter account for this purpose — to learn more about the resources the economics profession has to offer. Also Econ Twitter allows policy organizations, especially think tanks, to boost their own research. In other words, Twitter flattens the field quite a bit.
Five Important Hacks in navigating #EconTwitter
- Maintain a semi-professionalism — you can post about your interests, but be sure to maintain some level of professionalism so people do not completely write you off.
- Engage. Engage. Engage. — The best way to use the #EconTwitter space is to engage with people who frequent the hashtag or put out opinions that you may or may not agree with.
- Let us know who you are (using your Twitter Bio) — your bio is a glimpse into who you are. Are you a professor? A student? What are some ways you like to be identified? What are some of your research interests? All of these can be summarized and addressed in your bio.
- Amplify people you admire (but don’t overdo it) and then follow up — when I first began, I came across the work of Dr. Sue Dynarski and gave her a shoutout. She really appreciated her work being amplified, and followed me on the platform. I have since followed up with her offline and now we know each other in real life. Be sure to be intentional about letting people know how much you appreciate the work by highlighting what they’ve done and getting to know them (and their work) outside of the space.
- Use the hashtag and/or tag relevant perspectives when you want to begin a conversation — #EconTwitter is a no-brainer, but there may be other relevant hashtags or accounts that can add depth to the idea that you’re putting forth. Feel free to loop in other communities that may have more to say on a topic than economists, e.g. #EpiTwitter, which is the epidemiology community on Twitter.
Ultimately, do not be afraid to embrace the space as your own and share your opinions about different topics. Twitter can be [sometimes] a ruthless place, but at the same time, #EconTwitter can be a career defining place. Just ask Scott Cunningham (@causalinf) whose Causal Inference work has now becoming a published book largely due in part to Twitter.
And this probably goes without saying, if you have reach, be willing to engage with people without reach. As an old saying goes, “be humble, and don’t think you’re better than anyone else. We’re all in this together.” Thanks @NiallGlynn for encouraging me to add this important point.
#EconTwitter Starter Pack (in no particular order):
- Dr. Trevon Logan — @trevondlogan
- Dr. Sarah Jacobson — @SarahJacobsonEc
- Janelle Jones — @janellecj
- Dr. Dina Pomeranz — @dinapomeranz
- Dr. Scott Cunningham — @causalinf
- Dr. Damon Jones — @nomadj1
- Dr. Gbenga Aijlore — @gbenga_ajilore
- Economic Policy Institute — @economicpolicy
- Dr. Lisa D. Cook — @drlisacook
- Joelle Gamble — @joelle_gamble
Check out this directory of #EconTwitter https://ideas.repec.org/i/etwitter.html
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the Twitterverse!
Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is an emerging researcher and entrepreneur hailing from Ghana and Maryland. She recently studied at Harvard University as a Research Scholar in Economics with an appointment at the National Bureau of Economic Research as a Visiting Research Fellow. She graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Economics as a Meyerhoff/MARC U*STAR Scholar. She is best known for her work with The Sadie Collective, which she co-founded with Fanta Traore. She is represented by Leila Campoli at Stonesong Agency, a renowned literary agency based in New York. You can follow her on Twitter @itsAfronomics.