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What is the typographic reasoning here? Does it make the text look less crowded?

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Which soace? Can you clarify the question? Do you have a blank line before the displayed formula? – Johannes_B Mar 9 at 12:18
    
Is it the displayed formula you are referring to? There can be two reasons for it (1) giving it an equation number to make it easy to refer to it, (2) highlighting the formula or if the formula is complex, it is a lot easier to rad in displayed form – daleif Mar 9 at 12:21
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do you have a blank line before \begin{equation} in your source? – David Carlisle Mar 9 at 12:39
up vote 8 down vote accepted

You have not given many clues (it is always best to provide a complete document, as below) but I would guess, looking at the poor asymmetric spacing above and below the display, that you have (a) a non zero setting of \parskip specifying inter-paragraph space and that (b) you have a blank line above the equation.

Leaving a blank line before the equation is always wrong and always generates a spurious "white" paragraph before the display but the effect is more noticeable if \parskip is non zero. Compare the two displays below, with and without a blank line before.

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\setlength\parskip{\baselineskip}
\begin{document}

aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz
aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz
it recursively evaluates
\begin{equation}
h_i = f_\theta(h_t,x)
\end{equation}
where $h_i$ is something and something else is something else.


aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz
aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz aabbzz
it recursively evaluates

\begin{equation}
h_i = f_\theta(h_t,x)
\end{equation}
where $h_i$ is something and something else is something else.


\end{document}
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Ah, that fixes it, thanks. I saw it in some publications, so I thought it would be normal LaTeX behavior. – user8823741 Mar 9 at 16:46

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