It depends what you mean by "top". If you mean where can economists make the most money putting their knowledge to use, while still being recognized by their colleagues as professional economists, then the answer is the financial industry -- without a doubt. Experienced economists on Wall Street with a superior track record in forecasting business cycles, swings in interest rates, currencies or commodity prices, or in spotting risks and opportunities in financial markets, other industries, or foreign countries, can earn well into six figures and even more than a million dollars/year in salary plus bonus. As in other situations, the more consistently profitable is the bank, money manager, broker/dealer, or other financial intermediary, the better the chances of earning high figures year after year. Of course, "there is no free lunch." The work is intense, risky and of a 24/7 nature.