Some people argue that there’s a relationship between violins and increased value, and that that’s some kind of an indicator of how important and prestigious a viola is, and therefore, the value goes up as a viola gets more expensive and can now play for the rich and famous and things like that. So, if a viola’s value goes up, then so should other things that are instruments.
This, though, really doesn’t appear to have any basis in reality. First of all, there’s not a lot of evidence that price increases in instruments generally increase the value of violins. We can point to this example of a violin violin, and it seems to have been a good violin to begin with, but it’s now very expensive. What you’re trying to do when you’re purchasing a product is to compare two items with an apples-to-apples or apples-to-apples comparison and see how good each item is.
There is some evidence that some consumers value certain objects more highly than others because there are certain qualities of particular goods and services that make the other items more desirable for other consumers. It’s not clear to what degree, though, that the particular quality in question determines what the other objects are worth. In fact, there’s a paper about how violinists can actually price themselves as a way to determine what violin they’re going to play on stage, and then they play the violin and people can compare with how others rate the instrument, and see how much it’s worth, and they can then make a guess about what they think the instrument will end up being valued, and so on.
That kind of research shows that consumers value things not just in terms of the monetary price, but also in terms of how appealing and unique the item is in comparison with other similar items. That doesn’t mean they can’t pay a premium for a particular item in terms of monetary value. It’s not clear that’s what’s happening in the case of the violin.
But the fact is that not all instruments are created equal.
That’s really true. The same thing happens for guitars. It’s true for pianos, it’s true for cellos, it’s true for violins, it’s true for all kinds of other objects that you could put into that category. The violin certainly is not different in terms of any of those things from all of those other objects. I think that’s exactly why we don’t expect prices to just increase in accordance with
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