Lutz Prechelt, An Empirical Comparison of C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, Rexx, and Tcl. Emphasis mine.
80 implementations of the same set of requirements are compared for several properties, such as runtime, memory consumption, source text length, comment density, program structure, reliability, and the amount of time required for writing them. The results indicate that, for the given programming problem, which regards string manipulation and search in a dictionary, “scripting languages” (Perl, Python, Rexx, Tcl) are more productive than “conventional languages”. In terms of run time and memory consumption, they often turn out better than Java and not much worse than C or C++. In general, the differences between languages tend to be smaller than the typical differences due to different programmers within the same language.