Abstract The dynamic properties of micro based stochastic macro models are often analyzed through a linearization around the associated deterministic steady state. Recent literature has investigated the errors made by such a deterministic approximation. Complementary to this literature we investigate how the linearization affects the stochastic properties of the original model. We consider a simple real business cycle model with noisy learning by doing. The solution has a stationary distribution that exhibits moment failure and has an unbounded support. The linear approximation, however, yields a stationary distribution with possibly a bounded support and all moments finite.