IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Overachieving and Obsessive Behavior as Signaling Devices under Career Concern


  • Alexander Rodivilov
  • Dongsoo Shin
  • Xiaojian Zhao


This paper provides an economic rationale for overachieving behavior in nonprofessional activities in the labor market. The intrinsically motivated worker uses his achievement in nonprofessional activity to signal his work ethic. When the worker's career concern is weak, he exerts no extra effort on nonprofessional activity.When the worker's career concern is strong, however, his effort level for the nonprofessional activity can go beyond the bliss point. With a very strong career concern, an obsessive behavior can arise in equilibrium, as the intrinsically motivated worker may choose to sacrifice the professional activity for the nonprofessional one in an earlier stage of his career.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Rodivilov & Dongsoo Shin & Xiaojian Zhao, 2022. "Overachieving and Obsessive Behavior as Signaling Devices under Career Concern," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 178(4), pages 311-331.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:doi:10.1628/jite-2022-0015
    DOI: 10.1628/jite-2022-0015

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access is included for subscribers to the printed version.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    careerconcern; obsession; overachievement; signaling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:doi:10.1628/jite-2022-0015. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Thomas Wolpert (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.