Health Policy Manag.  2021 Dec;31(4):479-490. 10.4332/KJHPA.2021.31.4.479.

A Study on the Refusal of National Examination for Medical Students: Focusing on the Signaling Game Theory

  • 1Department of Public Administration, Chungbuk National University Graduate School, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Department of Public Administration, College of Social Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea


Conflict in the medical world in 2020 led to the rejection of the national examination for doctors. This study explained the process until the end of the national test refusal situation triggered in 2020 through the signaling game theory. The government has succeeded in requiring medical students to take the national exam.
To explain the rejection of the national examination, we first compose and show an example of two small non-signaling games where medical students know which type the government is of, then combine them to play a signaling game.
The behavior of the government and medical students was examined through the signaling game model. In the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the government makes an ultimatum, whatever the type. And the medical students accept it. They judged that the government could not be expected to abolish the policy. If COVID-19 had not occurred, medical students would have been able to continue the confrontation.
The government instilled in the other party the perception that the government would not bend its policies because it was the surly type and would not be afraid of a strong confrontation. Through the image created in this way, the government was forced to accept the ultimatum by medical students. Academically, this study is to deal with the policy-making process through the signaling game theory. In the area of health care policy, this study suggests that various situations such as the type of government or the spread of COVID-19 can become important in addition to the rationality of the policy itself.


Ultimatum game; Government; Medical students; Reputation
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