Much of the focus in combating corruption in government bureaucracies focuses on creating the right incentives for public servants after they’ve assumed their positions. The goal is usually to create a system of rewards and punishments – and perhaps also a professional culture – that incentivizes honest behavior and deters wrongdoing. Creating those incentives is obviously crucial, but it’s also important not to neglect the selection process – choosing who gets to become a civil servant or public official in the first place. After all, it’s probably a lot easier to help a basically honest person to resist temptation than it is to discourage a venal opportunist from abusing her position. Moreover, selecting the wrong people into public service can create a vicious cycle: a government agency with a reputation for corruption will tend to attract individuals who more interested in abusing their positions, while an agency with a reputation for probity will be more likely to attract individuals interested in serving the public good.