Elegance in economic modelling is one determinant of the professional acceptability of “scientific” contributions to the economics literature. Just what determines the profession′s definition of “elegance” is a question less frequently asked. Social economists commonly appeal to questions of teleology or the implicit philosophy underscoring mathematically rigorous and elegant models. The particular difficulty they face, however, is that the socialization process which occurs in graduate schools inculcates regard for mathematical technique to a much greater extent than it heightens awareness of philosophical issues.
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