We analyze how citizens can screen candidates for high political office in a political hierarchy. In our model politicians differ in willingness to misuse discretionary powers of office. Those politicians willing to abuse the powers of office (knaves) can be induced in a hierarchy to reveal their type while in low office, thus disqualifying themselves for advancement. Hierarchy's capacity for screening knaves out of high office depends on the conditions for reappointment to low office. A seemingly perverse rule that reappoints shirking politicians can perform well. To demonstrate an empirical application, we analyze shirking in the House Bank check bouncing scandal.
Find the article at Science Direct.