A new study published online on August 25, 2014 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Economic Inquiry found the prevalence in autism to have increased between 2002 and 2011 (Dhaval and Fernandez 2014). For the study, the researchers from Bentley University and the University of Louisville, both U.S., analyzed number and wages of auxiliary health care providers based on California Department of Developmental Services data. With a doubling of autism cases, the number of autism health providers also grew by 14 percent over that of non-autism health providers and their wages also increased by 11 percent. The researchers were able to confirm actual autism cases also grew between 50 and 65 percent when controlling for displacement of mental retardation diagnoses.

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University of Louisville (September 9, 2014). “Economic study confirms growth in autism.ScienceDaily.


Dhaval, D.M. and Fernandez, J.M. (2014). Rising autism prevalence: real or displacing other mental disorders? Evidence from demand for auxiliary health care workers in California. Economic Inquiry.