While experts and politicians pay considerable attention to efficiency considerations when they design reform strategies for the tax system and the welfare state, the public debate is dominated often by fairness considerations. Even if certain reform proposals are regarded to be efficient they may be rejected if their consequences are judged to be unfair. This is particularly true for tax reforms as can be seen from the often negative reactions to the abolition of tax exemptions or corporate tax cuts. It is the objective of this study to identify the drivers of fairness perceptions of reforms on the basis of experimental evidence and econometric analyses of survey data.