Abstract: Alpacas were introduced into the U.S. from South America in 1984, and the domestic alpaca herd has grown rapidly in the succeeding 20 years. The benefits of raising alpacas are touted routinely on national television, and alpaca breeding stock in the U.S. sells routinely for prices in the range of $25,000 per head, many times higher than prices obtainable in Peru, where the world’s largest alpaca herd resides. We study the evolution of the U.S. alpaca industry and ask whether today’s current prices for alpaca stock can be justified by fundamental economic conditions governing the industry, or whether alpacas represent the latest speculative bubble in American agriculture.
See PDF article here: Alpaca Lies? Do Alpacas Represent the Latest Speculative Bubble in Agriculture? by T.L. Saitone and R.J. Sexton, September 2005.