Our new report uses four decades of U.S. Census data to delve into historic gender role reversals in the spousal characteristics and economic benefits of marriage. Among the U.S.-born 30-44-year-olds who are the focus of the report, more women than men hold college degrees and women’s recent earnings growth surpassed men’s. So what has happened to the institution of marriage during this period?

The study finds that that the rise of wives has contributed to making marriage an increasingly good deal, economically speaking, for men.