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Although it is a valuable part of modern society, pocket money is not a contemporary creation. Referring to the 19th-century literature, it is described with some regularity by writers like Émile Zola as a practice among the families of the French upper bourgeoisie. Even in the previous century, pocket money was cited in a letter published by the Gentleman’s Magazine, from London, in its 37th volume of 1767, in which the author claims to earn less money today, working, than the amount received as pocket money when he was student. This entry examines how the concepts of pocket money and related concept of allowance have been defined over time and across cultures and explores how social class impacts the allocation of pocket money or allowance.

Defining ...

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