Thursday, December 06, 2007

Smart + savvy = successful

Tyler Cowan is a rare combination of a good academic and a savvy self marketer. His blog is one of the most widely read in the world. One reason for this is that the content is good. But what separates Cowan from many others is that he reassures his readers early and often that he is an authority by prominently citing what others say about him.

Today, he quotes Arnold Kling's most recent compilation of the best economics books of 2007:

Two books that show economic intellect to advantage are Discover Your Inner Economist, by Tyler Cowen and One Economics, Many Recipes, by Dani Rodrik. Cowen's book is a set of observations on everyday life, while Rodrik's book looks at the high-level issue of which economic institutions to recommend for underdeveloped countries. I made the case for Cowen's book here and the case for Rodrik's book here.

Note that in this quote, he is careful not to single himself out to make himself seem to self-aggrandizing. Instead, he adds Dani Rodrik into the mix. This serves the additional function of signalling to the reader that he is in the same league with Dani Rodrik, someone who (at least until recently) was much more widely known and respected.