To compute a simple happiness index, the percentage of respondents in each category who self-describe as "not too happy" is subtracted from the percentage who say they are "very happy", with the "pretty happy" middling option ignored. Happiness scores among men by whether they make more, the same, or less than their wives:
The differences are pretty modest. I suspected the gap between men keeping pace with their wives and those unable to do so would be larger than the one between men who earn more than their wives and those who make the same as their wives do, but that's not the case.
This result is more surprising. More domineering manjaws and a corresponding increase in the number of manboobs today relative to the past? Some of the putative subjective benefits of female empowerment? A meaningless result based on an arbitrary self-description that might vary from day to day depending on the mood the participant was in when she completed the survey?
It is interesting that for both men and women, income on par with one's spouse is not an obvious positive psychological feature, as the lowest scores for both involve income parity among couples. It seems plausible that this sort of arrangement could cause tension at home, since the presumption on both sides is that since both are contributing equally economically, both should contribute equally on the home front, with any deviation from that arrangement making it seem as though the slacker is shirking his duty. I bring home the bacon, my wife keeps up the house and does the lioness' share of work raising our son. That's the societal ideal.
GSS variables used: EARNSHH(1-3)(4)(5-7), SEX(1)(2), HAPPY