The findings of this book have broad implications for understanding the roots of inequality and its relationship with other political and economic factors. Modernization does not always lead to a decline in inequality as modernization theorists would predict. Globalization can reduce disparities in some contexts and widen them in others. Democracy is not a silver bullet that will automatically ensure better outcomes for the poor and marginalized. Instead, elites can find ways to use any system of governance to perpetuate social and economic hierarchies.