In 1956, the Dutch Nobel Prize winner Tinbergen was still able to assert that the regulation of economic systems could be achieved by creating a specific concentration of economic knowledge. Correspondingly, rules for an optimum on political design based on a structural model of economics were continually developed. This optimism vanished as it was discovered that economic systems are too complex to be steered in a goal-directed way. The disappointing experiences of the Eastern European countries in their transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, the decline of economic growth in Germany before and especially after reunification and the severe depression in Japan in the 1990s coined the ‘lost decade’. Flagrant accounting scandals despite new international accounting standards and the defection from international environmental standards are just some examples of the difficulties of implementing economic reforms. The assumption that basic structures of economic systems are known and that political target definitions can be based on efficiency criteria exclusively, is no longer valid today, although it often still appears in political practice, as the political conception toward transformation states has recently shown (Tinbergen 1956; Eggertsson 1997).