This article considers how countries differ in the opinions that citizens hold about the fairness of the social and educational system. From the literature, we derive a typology of four educational “regimes”, based on differences in educational system, labour market and welfare state design. We then use data from the ISSP (2009) to investigate how much weight respondents attribute to ascribed characteristics (e.g., being born in a wealthy family) and individual responsibility (e.g., working hard) to explain success in life or at school. We also examine how these judgments relate to the educational background of the respondents. We consider how these patterns correspond to the existing knowledge on social and economic inequality and what this means for the legitimacy of the social system.