We present spectroscopic analysis of ∼1000 stars on the Lick, Keck and AAT planet search projects. This analysis provides a quantitative, and unbiased correlation between metallicity and the rate of occurrence of detected gas giant planets with orbital periods shorter than three years. As stellar metallicity increases, the occurrence of planets increases. Stars with [Fe/H] that is one third of solar only have gas giants detected ∼ 3% of the time. Stars with solar metallicity have a planet occurrence rate of 5 − 10%. The occurrence of gas giant planets rises to 20% in stars with a metallicity that is three times solar.
At issue is whether the quantitative dependence of planet occurrence on metallicity is primarily an initial condition, or a by-product of accretion of gas-depleted material onto the convective zone of the star. Accretion could be distinguished as the underlying mechanism for enhanced metallicity if: 1) planet-bearing F-type stars with thinner convective envelopes show a higher mean metallicity than planet-bearing G- or K-type stars, or 2) planet-bearing sub-giants with diluted convective zones showed statistically lower metallicity than their main sequence counterparts.